A privately owned nursing home chain whose approval by the District to operate the Wisconsin Avenue Nursing Home is in jeopardy bought the home earlier this month without prior approval of District health planners, as required by law.

The District's health planning and development agency has been considering revocation of the corporation's operating permit for the home, and the sale raises questions about how the agency will proceed.

Carlessia Hussein, director of the agency, said yesterday that she will meet Tuesday with officials of the chain, Beverly Enterprises of Pasadena, Calif., to decide what action, if any, to take in regard to the purchase.

A committee of the city's health coordinating council, a group of health professionals and community members that advises the health agency, voted last month to recommend revocation of the firm's certificate to operate the 355-bed home because of what the panel said was poor patient care in the three years the chain has managed the facility.

The action of the committee must be acted on by the city's health coordinating council. The council was to meet on the matter last week, but Beverly Enterprises asked for and received a delay.

Jane Redicker, a spokeswoman for Beverly Enterprises, said the firm took ownership of the home from the Grant Holladay Construction Corp. "effective Jan. 2."

Beverly Enterprises notified the health planning agency of the purchase Jan. 11. The agency must approve any changes in the operation of a health facility, including nursing homes.

Hussein noted yesterday that purchasers of such facilities "should ask for a review before they complete the sale. If it's an inappropriate action, we can ask them to stop."

Redicker said that "according to our attorneys, the health agency does not have to approve the purchase" because the sale does not substantially change the city certificate under which Beverly has been operating the home. "Our attorneys don't feel they have jurisdiction with it," Redicker said.

The city planning agency report stated that city inspectors found repeated, serious violations of city nursing home laws at the Wisconsin Avenue facility that had gone uncorrected.

Executives of Beverly Enterprises, which owns about 965 nursing homes nationwide, have told city officials that the corporation recently had made improvements in conditions at the home.