The Post joins Barron’s and other news sites that have been examining the Portopiccolo Group, an investment firm that owns and operates numerous nursing homes in several states, including across the Mid-Shore.
The Washington Post reported Dec. 21, 2020, that:
• Portopiccolo bought three Maryland facilities from Genesis HealthCare and others from Autumn Lake Healthcare, including its facility in Chestertown. (Autumn Lake’s Chestertown facility had a COVID-19 outbreak in mid-April, about a month before it was bought and rebranded as Peak Healthcare at Chestertown.)
• Employees at Portopiccolo-owned facilities said they were asked to work after testing positive for COVID-19 and said the company “scrimped on supplies, including cutlery, cleaning materials and clothing for residents.”
• Kent County health officials intervened at the Chestertown facility in mid-May after learning an infected employee was still working.
• The Chestertown facility was fined $730,000 for not fixing or reporting that its water heater was broken from July to September. The firm is disputing the fine.
According to an Aug. 6, 2020, report in Barron’s:
• The Portopiccolo Group, a private-equity firm, has bought numerous nursing homes since 2016 and its president and CEO, and Portopiccolo’s affiliated companies, own or operate about 100 facilities under dozens of names.
• The firm has focused on lower-quality nursing homes and its purchases have continued even as some of its facilities have dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks and staff shortages.
On June 12, 2020, The Charlotte Observer reported on nursing homes owned by Portopiccolo in North Carolina:
• At that time, a nursing home owned by Portopiccolo in Salisbury, N.C., had had the state’s worst COVID-19 outbreak.
• Two residents had sued the facility and its corporate owners, claiming it was understaffed by poorly trained workers and did not have necessary supplies.