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City, state officials work to help residents, workers at a Mission Hill nursing home planning on closing, where workers have had their paychecks bounce

City councilors yesterday denounced management at the Edgar P. Benjamin Healthcare Center, 120 Fisher Ave. on Mission Hill, for the way it's planning to close by July 1, frightening residents and delaying or bouncing employee paychecks.

Councilors say the city has started working with state officials, including state Rep. Sam Montaño and state Sen. Liz Miranda, to see if there are ways to keep the Benjamin Center open, possibly even through receivership.

The center formally notified the state earlier this month that it plans to close July 1. The state Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification has scheduled a hearing for March 12, starting at 6 p.m. in its Marlborough office (telephone access via 800-857-5123, passcode: 8554964).

In a filing with the state, Benjamin Administrator Tony Francis says the center was already on shaky financial ground when the pandemic hit and that it was simply unable to recover.

But City Councilors Ben Weber (Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), Henry Santana (at large) and Sharon Durkan (Mission Hill, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway) raised the specter of a mini-Steward and said it's particularly outrageous that Francis has seen his annual salary pay increase from $180,000 to $620,000 in recent years - even as the center's financial conditions were supposedly worsening.

Now, the center's 76 residents "are scared they will be left out on the street," Weber said, pointing to such things as Benjamin administrators demanding residents pay $1 a page for copies of their medical records.

Santana said he visited the nursing home last week and that residents are "very stressed and frustrated."

He added, "housing is a human right .. and these are people's homes."

The center was started in 1927 by Edgar Benjamin, a Jewish lawyer and civil-rights activist who wanted to see an old-age home open to all at a time when most were segregated. Today, most of the residents are of color, Weber said.



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so tough. Where are folks supposed to go? The number of nursing homes is dropping in the state. And the CEO makes over $600k? It's all so wrong.

Voting closed 25

But of course the CEO took pay raises while the facility was on shaky ground. Thats their game plan.. suck as much money out as possible and leave the rest for the vultures. Who cares about the residents or the care or the employees.. CEOs need those pay raises.

We H A V E to start to migrate back to not for profit healthcare in this country. This 'making money off sick people' thing is gonna kill (and already has) alot of people. And its only going to get worse as these leech execs suck even more out while paying claims goes down, rates and your deductible go up.

As a man approaching 50, I struggle wondering what life will be for me above 65. I'm single, no kids, no real family anymore, not a whole lot for retirement saved either.. I worry about having a stroke or something and just be dumped off at "Shady Pines" and have what little is left in my 'estate' sucked out for healthcare. I don't think SSI or Medicare will be there for me at the rate we're going.

I really fear that I'm going to be homeless or just left for dead b/c I can't pay. Every day this sad future sounds like it will be a reality.

Voting closed 23

I want to add that the post above sounds like a pity party for me, and in a way it is.. but the more I talk about this online, the more I get "me too" response.So I know it's not me and it's a real issue. And its not just single people, its well documented that a good chunk of Americans do not have enough money saved to retire.

And how can they? Its estimated that you need like a million dollars to live comfortably until 75-80. And with people living longer, you will need more than that. And that's just to live comfortably. If you have a major health issue and need constant care in a place like the home stated in this article, a good chunk of that could be gone very quickly. Yeah currently medicare and its 'parts' pay for alot, but not everything & if you want better care or facilities, you have to pay for it. Again sucking away at what you saved for 'retirement'.

We should not need to be a millionaire to retire in this country.. just to 'live comfortably" and have decent healthcare. Many other countries take care of their elderly, so why not us too?

But no, we have CEO's that need pay raises while paychecks bounce at the facilities they run and eventually shutdown because they aren't profitable. Elder care and healthcare have never been turned into profit centers and should not be treated as such. It's just going to get worse and worse... and more places like this will close along with more stories similar to the recent news about Caritas Christi. Healthcare is just not a profit center.

Voting closed 15

Being non-profit doesn't prevent a CEO from having his salary raised if the board goes along with it. There are plenty of scummy stories about private equity and nursing homes, but this isn't one of them.

The median cost per person for nursing home care (in a semiprivate room) in MA is around $13,800 monthly, or $165K/year. It is expensive to humanely care for people who cannot care for themselves and shifting that cost to the government budget will not solve that problem, even if you pull out ~10 percent of cost (i.e. profit margin).

A million bucks won't be enough for a comfortable retirement in 15-20 years unless you already own your residence and live in a low-cost area. The government is printing about $3.5 trillion/year in money right now (CNBC reported the national debt is increasing by $1 trillion every 100 days) and that spending will fuel inflation.

Voting closed 11

Yeah I thought about changing that part but left it.. but yeah you are correct here.


A million bucks won't be enough for a comfortable retirement in 15-20 years unless you already own your residence and live in a low-cost area

I was being very conservative here with that number. I also took my salary and x12 years which came out to be a little above that. But your comment just further cements what I said.

Why on earth do we live in a society where you have to work yourself to death for most of your life so you can save.. now 5 Million.. to be able to live comfortably when you retire.


And this is a hidden tsunami that will rear its ugly head as more Gen Xer's retire. The boomers were really the last generation who 'saved right for retirement', but many of those boomers also took away the same luxuries they enjoyed from future generations (read: removal of pension plans from many employers)

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