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The Oaks at Mena – Assisted Living Announces Closing

(MENA) The parent organization of The Oaks at Mena Assisted Living made a brief announcement on Tuesday, August 6th that the assisted living center in Mena would be closing as of Midnight, August 17, 2019.

The parent organization of The Oaks at Mena Assisted Living facility, The Ouachita Senior Community Development Inc., said that with the various changes to funding reimbursement for Medicaid to assisted living facilities such as The Oaks, they are not able to survive.

Due to insufficient operating revenue brought about by a reduction in Arkansas Medicaid reimbursements which took effect July 1, 2019 with an additional reduction scheduled in the future.” It creates difficulties to continue their services for low-income patients.

Approximately twenty-five residents and another twenty-five employees will be looking elsewhere for living and work. The Oaks administration, led by Chief Operating Officer of the partnership and administrator of the facility, Lisa Masters said that the facility is assisting families with placement to other facilities.

Masters said that their main concern right now is “working diligently to find another facility” for its residents. Several residents have already found another facility on their own.

Dr. Richard Black, a board member of the partnership stated that “the process for residents to be approved for Medicaid can take up to 45 days for approval and agencies have also put a cap on the number of waivers that can be issued, thus causing a decrease in population from time to time.”

Black said that the numbers have dropped below the necessary levels to operate such a facility. The Oaks have been trying to find changes to the formula for two years, with legislators.

The Arkansas Development Finance Agency, will take over the facility on that date or soon thereafter and will determine the fate of the facility.

Randolph Emerson, a member of the Ouachita Seniors and Retirees Inc. said that “it severely limits the choice that seniors have and puts a burden on families to try locate seniors that they are unable to care for at home”.

This is the second facility to announce its closing recently. Mena Manor closed in July. However, officials are anticipating opening at a possible location in the Industrial Park area of the city.

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