McKnight’s had an article on how Preferred Care of Plano is using bankruptcy to avoid responsibility for the abuse and neglect suffered by their residents. Preferred filed for bankruptcy in November claiming in court that lawsuits led to its financial demise. Consumer advocates and industry experts — including families who allege their loved ones were mistreated in facilities in Texas, Kentucky or New Mexico — say the company is trying to avoid accountability.
“If their quality of care were higher, they wouldn’t be getting sued,” said Dallas lawyer Gabriel Canto, who represents the family of a Preferred Care resident who died after falling twice in the same day.
Preferred Care was incorporated in 1992 by Thomas Scott. Today it’s a web of corporations that includes technology services, rehabilitation services and nursing homes linked to Scott including Preferred Care Partners Management Group, Preferred Care Inc., Preferred Care Partners, Pinnacle Health Management and Pincomputing. The company has annual revenue estimated at $750 million, it is one of the country’s largest senior care providers, with more than 100 skilled nursing, assisted and independent living centers in 12 states, including 38 locations across Texas.
A Dallas Morning News investigation published last week strung together state and federal inspection reports and dozens of lawsuits to illustrate the nursing home operator’s horrific track record and history of abuse and neglect. Allegations of neglect, injury and wrongful death included the beating death of two residents at the hands of a mentally ill roommate, a resident found dead with his wheelchair on top of his body and a state attorney general’s allegation that residents were left for hours in soiled clothes and sheets.
An unusually large share of Preferred Care facilities have poor ratings, based on federal inspection data. About a third of Preferred Care homes in Texas received 1 star overall in the Five-Star Quality Rating System, compared to a quarter of all nursing homes statewide.
State health departments, lawyers and the hundreds of families they represent say that the company is using bankruptcy as a way to escape the consequences of a long-standing pattern of substandard care.
Scott and his wife live on a 155-acre property in Celina that’s valued at $3.7 million, records show. Scott owns several other properties in Collin and Grayson counties, as well as a home in Fort Lauderdale, property records show.