On July 18, 2017, Metro’s Internal Audit department published its report about the Bordeaux LongTerm Care and J. B. Knowles Assisted Living facilities. The audit covered the period after Metro privatized day-to-day operations of these facilities. In 2013, the management of the Knowles facility was taken over by a private operator, Autumn Assisted Living Partners, Inc. In January 2017, Metro removed Autumn due to poor performance and its inability to pay the operating expenses or maintain the facility. Several Council members asked Metro Internal Audit to examine what happened.
You can see the full report here.
It is worth reading, but the important takeaways are:
- Internal Audit forwarded the report to the DA and to the State Comptroller. I’ve been on the Metro Audit Committee for almost two years and this is the first referral like this that I recall.
- The report summarizes: “Management of Autumn Assisted Living Partners, Inc. mismanaged the fiscal affairs of the former J. B. Knowles Assisted Living facility. Vendors were not paid timely, financial reports were not prepared, resident trust fund accounts were not maintained, and corporate and 1099 tax returns were not filed.”
- The summary continues: “Contract performance oversight was lacking by the Metropolitan Nashville Hospital Authority and Metropolitan Nashville Government.”
I think it was a reasonable decision to privatize the day-to-day management of these facilities, but the execution went really, really badly for the Knowles facility. The private operator wasn’t up to the task, and Metro didn’t maintain enough oversight.
I have no idea whether the poor management by Autumn rises to the level of criminal activity. But it is noteworthy that the Metro Auditor Mark Swann felt required to provide a copy of the report to the DA and to the Comptroller. Regardless of how this shakes out, Metro must do better if it is going to outsource a job that impacts the health and lives of our citizens.