LEXINGTON -- To watchdog Kentucky's troubled nursing home industry, Gov. Andy Beshear has picked an executive from Signature HealthCare, a Louisville-based corporation that owns more than two dozen low-rated nursing homes around the state.

Adam Mather, who was Signature's regional vice president of operations, started Dec. 30 as inspector general at the Kentucky Health and Family Services Cabinet.

Mather will be paid $112,381 a year to oversee a state office that -- among other duties -- inspects several hundred nursing homes in Kentucky on behalf of the federal government, which pays for the bulk of residents' care through Medicare and Medicaid. Poor results on inspections can lead to expensive fines and, in extreme cases, loss of federal funding.

Many Signature nursing homes haven't been faring well in these inspections.

A Herald-Leader analysis of 42 Signature facilities in Kentucky shows that 25 are rated as "much below average" or "below average" by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services five-star rating system, which considers quality of patient care, staffing and health inspections.

Signature HealthCare at Jefferson Place in Louisville, for example, was hit with $140,421 in fines in 2018 after inspectors cited repeated cases of resident neglect that led to physical injuries and personal humiliation. It's rated as one-star, or "much below average."

The average rating across the company's Kentucky facilities was two-star, or "below average."

According to his online resume posted at LinkedIn, Mather earned a bachelor's of science in nursing from Georgia State University in 2012.

He started the next year as a director with Kindred Healthcare, a nursing home chain that Signature soon acquired, and worked his way up into executive leadership at Signature's corporate headquarters.

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