State Terminates New Provider of Former Ruth Marie's Country Home

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

An assisted living facility in Leon County is in trouble with the state once again. In August we told you about the abuse and neglect findings inside a number of Ruth Marie’s Country Homes across the state, including Jewett. State Investigators terminated owner James Simpson's contract August 27th; but it appears not much has changed since Simpson's alleged girlfriend Gail Champagne took over as Paramount Care.

It's been three months, and aside from a change of name and leadership -- not a whole lot has changed in Region 7. One thing has though: the number investigations surrounding neglect and abuse. Ten investigations of neglect and abuse are currently underway at Paramount Care inside Leon, McLennan and Freestone Counties.

We've now learned Friday the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services terminated Paramount Care's state certificate.

Operating under a new name, Paramount Care had a new opportunity: to rebuild and repair a reputation soiled in claims of abuse and neglect. But according to the findings of numerous state investigations -- those running the show -- have demonstrated anything but.

A statement from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services says the state placed Paramount Care on Vendor hold at the end of August. Vendor Hold is essentially a probationary period. The state suspends government funding to the HCS provider until the probation period ends.

With 42 clients, and a full staff -- Gail Champagne, the CEO of Paramount Care, would have to seek funding elsewhere, or personally foot the bill to continue operations.

After Champagne took over -- she had more than 30 days to fix 12 serious items the state deemed non-compliant. These issues were discovered during a review from August 28, 2012 to August 31. 2012. Not too long after, the state showed up unannounced -- and found nothing was fixed.

"Twelve items of noncompliance were cited during this review; and twelve items remained out of compliance; seven of these items were determined to be of serious nature," said Cecilia Cavuto, spokesperson for Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

Due to the health and welfare of each client -- the state has once again terminated services for Paramount Care.

Cavuto said Gail Champagne has 15 days to appeal the termination. So far, the state said no action has been taken on Champagne's end. After that 15 day window -- the state will go ahead and permanently terminate the contract. According to the state, it's unclear what Champagne plans on doing next.

So what happens now? For the 42 clients receiving services from Paramount Care in Leon County, Freestone and McLennan Counties; family members of those clients will have to make a decision whether or not they want to find a new provider -- or stay with the Champagne. If a decision is made to stay with Champagne, we are told could potentially transfer out to either Conroe or Spring.

For those clients who do not have family members to assist in transferring -- Disability Right Incorporated will contact each client and assist with the best decision based on the individual's needs.

KBTX-TV Channel 3 4141 E. 29th Street Bryan, TX 77802 Phone: (979) 846-7777 Fax: (979) 846-1490 News Fax: (979) 846-1888
Copyright © 2002-2015 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 175514951 -
Gray Television, Inc.