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Owner: Tuell Nursing Home Closing After 40 Years in Melrose

Despite being one of the highly-ranked nursing homes nationwide, Tuell Nursing Home will be shuttering as soon as the end of next week, according to co-owner Michael Cummings.

Despite being one of the highly-ranked nursing homes in Massachusetts and nationwide, Tuell Nursing Home will be shuttering as soon as the end of next week, according to co-owner Michael Cummings.

Tuell, which has been open for more than four decades, is expected to be closed sometime in the next few weeks depending on how the placement process goes for the 26 people the nursing home currently cares for, according to Cummings. Cummings co-owns Tuell with his sister, Nancy Lordan.

With rising costs and no state increases in the past handful of years, Cummings explained that there was no other alternative but to close. 

"It is almost impossible to run a health care facility without any type of a rate increase at all and that is with the state-funded Medicaid rate," Cummings said. "We have had some rate increases in Medicare, but even in Medicare two years ago there was a 30 percent cut in Medicare rates so financially the ability to keep the home going has been near impossible."

Cummings, who has worked as an operator and owner in the industry since 1981, said the past two years have been the most challenging running Tuell given the reduced funding at the state level. 

"2011 was the worst year," he said. "The whole industry was not doing too badly until 2010. In 2011, the Governor (Deval Patrick) essentially taxed the nursing homes by not fully funding Medicaid, and then the federal government cut Medicare by 30 percent and that is what really hurt the nursing home business badly."

Tuell, which has 28 beds and currently has 26 in-house residents, is working with in-house residents' families to inform them of the impending closure and the placement process, according to Cummings.

"Our first job is to make sure that the residents are taken care of up until they leave, and as they leave make sure that the transition happens so they go to a safe place, a safe environment and that is really taking up all our time," Cummings explained.

Once the nursing home closes, Cummings said there is no immediate plan in place as to what will happen with the building. Tuell currently has a total of about 40 full and part-time employees, according to Cummings.

"Cummings Health Care was founded by Francis J. Cummings over 35 years ago with the purchase of Tuell Nursing Home in Melrose, MA," reads the Cummings Health Care website. "This charming home has thrived for those years with the care and attention of a dedicated staff. Since then we have expanded to four facilities and welcomed our third generation of Cummings family administrators.

"Each of our homes has its own personality but each is family oriented, cheerful, and cozy just like our original home, Tuell. We offer long term care, respite care, hospice care and rehabilitation in a small, individually focused atmosphere. We pride ourselves on our welcoming, warm environment."

According to the Medicare website, Tuell has high marks in service, receiving five stars in all categories including overall rating, health inspections, staffing and quality rating. Five stars is the highest rating a nursing home can receive, according to the site.

What are your thoughts about Tuell Nursing Home closing in Melrose? Let us know by posting a comment in the comments section below.

ed shreenan April 12, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Once again the Democrats have found another way to waste tax $$ and throw the true poor and elderly to the curb. Where's Liz Warren now to talk about saving seniors. People better wake up because its only going to get worse with mandates from Obamacare.
Scott Sawyer April 13, 2013 at 10:31 AM
the future is now, we better stay healthy
Valerie Mulvihill April 13, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Working at Tuell were some of the best days! So sorry to see it close. Cohesive staff provided excellent care. I'm glad to have been a part of it!
Sally Kennedy April 15, 2013 at 01:07 PM
what a shame very sad to hear what more dare I ask is the obama care going to do to our poor and our elderly and of course our health care I can remember whn my Grandmother owned a nurseing home and had to close and how hard it was on the patiences and the staff as you grow older you find somewhere to settle in where you are happy and comfortable and to have somethignn happen to upheave that it is very hard on the elderly I saw it with my own eyes I really feel bad for everyone involved it is heart wrenching to go through for all of you may God bless !!!!!
Sally Kennedy April 15, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Afew spelling mistakes i see where is spell check when you need it ???

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