PITTSBURG — The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has filed a temporary restraining order against the operators of the Pittsburg Care and Rehabilitation Center, asking the courts to allow the state to take over operations.

The state is seeking receivership of a total of 15 nursing homes in Kansas operated by Skyline Health Care, based in Wood Ridge, New Jersey, after Skyline notified the state it would be unable to make payroll.

According to a release from KDADS, the state has asked the courts to put the facilities in receivership while arrangements are made for them to continue to operate and to provide care for the approximately 845 residents.

“Our most pressing concern at this point is stability,” KDADS Secretary Tim Keck said in the release. “We want to ensure the residents of these facilities continue to receive the care they need, and to make sure the staff, which provides that care, continues to be paid.”

KDADS Director of Communication Angela de Roucha said the first step in the process of finding new management for the homes was filing the paperwork.

“We asked the courts to give us a temporary restraining order and to place (the facilities) in receivership,” she said in a phone interview Thursday. “Unlike other states, a third party can’t be named receiver so the secretary will be the receiver.”

She said the restraining order enjoins Skyline from operating the facilities which are owned by a separate company — Golden Living.

De Roucha said the majority of the residents are Medicaid patients — Medicare does not fund long-term stays — so payments continue to be made for the resident’s care, so the state may have to put some money in immediately, but does not have a major liability cost-wise.

She said the primary consideration for her department is to make sure there is no interruption in care, with a strong secondary priority to make sure the employees get paid.

Keck said this is an uncommon situation, but a management company is already in place to at least temporarily take over the operations.

“This is a highly unusual situation, but we have identified a nursing home management group that is willing to step in immediately and begin overseeing these facilities,” Keck said in the release. “We have discussed the matter with CMS and now are working to get all of the arrangements in place as soon as possible.”

Staff from KDADS and the three managed care organizations that administer Medicaid in Kansas will meet with residents and their families next week to explain the changes.

Mission Health Care, which operates 14 nursing homes in Kansas as well as Tennessee, Georgia, Minnesota and Wisconsin, has agreed to step in and oversee the operation of the Kansas facilities.

Pittsburg Care and Rehabilitation Center CEO Whitney Buckle said Mission is already overseeing the operation and the staff are “excited,” but that the sudden change in management was not anticipated.

“Honestly it was a bit of a shock,” she said. “I did not see this coming.

“I feel it’s going to be a very good thing for residents, our families and our staff. Staff has all been made aware of the change and we’re excited for the change.”

Buckle said the change over has been smooth and staff will all be paid on time.

The facilities involved are:

Chase County Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Cottonwood Falls Downs Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Downs Edwardsville Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Edwardsville El Dorado Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, El Dorado Eskridge Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Eskridge Kaw River Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Edwardsville Lansing Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Lansing Neodesha Care & Rehabilitation Center, Neodesha Parkway Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Edwardsville Pittsburg Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Pittsburg Spring Hill Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Spring Hill Wakefield Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Wakefield Wellington Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Wellington Wichita Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Wichita Wilson Care & Rehabilitation Center LLC, Wilson

Attempts to reach Skyline Health Care which acquired the Kansas facilities in 2016, have been unsuccessful.