Orleans County’s press release about sale of nursing home

Posted 7 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Provided photo – The Villages of Orleans Health & Rehabilitation Center has this sign along Route 31 in Albion.

Press release
Orleans County Health Facilities Corporation

ALBION – The Orleans County Health Facilities Corporation announced on Thursday that The Villages of Orleans Health & Rehabilitation Center has been acquired for $7.8 million.

Principals of Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services LLC, who recently purchased three Catholic Health facilities in Buffalo, will eventually operate The Villages under Comprehensive at Orleans LLC.

Orleans County Health Facilities Corporation board members Richard DeCarlo Sr., Russell Martino and Richard Moy stated, “The sale of The Villages to Comprehensive will not only allow for continued excellent care of our residents but will also provide additional annual tax revenues for the county, town and school district.”

The Villages operating debt is expected to be reduced to $7.1 million by the end of 2014. This purchase agreement will more than satisfy the outstanding debt and “exceeds the market value of $6.5 million suggested by the senior housing specialists we consulted at Marcus & Millichap,” added Martino, chairman of the HFC, which is a local development corporation.

He also emphasized, “Comprehensive showed considerable flexibility in negotiations with regard to our county’s unique needs. This is a win-win for our community.”

The principals for Comprehensive – Joshua Farkovits, Bernard Fuchs and Mordy Lahasky – will now face a rigorous New York State Department of Health licensure process to operate the 120-bed nursing home in Albion.

Once the review is complete and approval is granted by the state, which could take up to a year, The Villages of Orleans will become a privatized nursing facility owned and operated by Comprehensive at Orleans LLC. County officials indicated no transfer would take place prior to Jan. 1, 2015.

While change of ownership can create angst for residents, their families and employees, Lahasky indicated he and his partners were immediately “…very impressed by the facility and, more important, by the people at The Villages of Orleans, staff and residents alike. The Villages is a gem – it is clearly a well-run facility and we intend to keep it that way. Our aim is to provide even more support and enhance the services offered at the facility.”

“We are committed to providing high quality health care and a quality workplace for employees,” said Farkovits. He added Comprehensive’s principals have “long standing and good working relations with 1199 of the SEIU and a history of working with existing employees to achieve outstanding outcomes.”

The company looks forward to working with the workforce in Orleans County because they have demonstrated “such dedication” to caring for residents of The Villages and “so much pride” in the facility and region.

Members of the LDC requested the purchase agreement state that current employees hired by Comprehensive “will not be subject to salary cuts or reduced Paid Time Off (PTO).”

Noting that a NYS DOH study projects the county’s need for more nursing home beds will reach 360 by 2016, Legislature Chairman David Callard said, “Under the leadership of Comprehensive, we are more optimistic that the needs of our community can be met, well into the future. I am pleased with the way the LDC managed the process and look forward to a smooth transition and fiscal solvency for Orleans County.”

“First impressions are everything to me,” said Karen Wygal, director of nursing at The Villages. “Their facility that I toured was pristine. To me, that is an indicator as to how well the needs of the residents are being met. The staff was welcoming and very engaged with the residents. The high level of care demonstrated in the specialized units was extremely impressive.”

The privatization of The Villages brings back into focus mounting challenges for county-owned nursing homes all over in New York State: rising costs and the increasing costs of public employment.

“Even with reforms and the addition of programs, costs have continued to increase at an alarming rate, while Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement levels failed to keep pace,” Callard said.

LDC member Richard DeCarlo Sr. said, “We could not, in good conscience, allow this to go on. Comprehensive was no stranger to these concerns, having worked with other county-owned nursing homes, and they were accommodating to our needs. Comprehensive committed to maintaining ownership of The Villages for a minimum of 10 years.”

The Chicago-based firm of Marcus & Millichap was hired to market and sell The Villages. Senior housing specialist and broker Joshua Jandris said, “Comprehensive’s reputation exceeds industry standards.”

He went on to say Farkovits, Fuchs and Lahasky “…showed tremendous interest in the residents and the community and were also very attentive to the specific needs of the county.” Jandris added that the men are respected nursing home operators and are known for investing in their employees and supporting the operational needs of each facility.

Richard Moy of the LDC expressed the same sentiments about Comprehensive. Moy observed, “They all seem to be committed 100% to the success of their facilities and particularly invested in the communities. In fact, they willingly agreed to continue the nationally-recognized Community-as-School program as well as provide meals for Orleans County Hospice.”

According to Farkovits, “Our desire is to augment the existing programs at The Villages and add more specialty services to cater to the growing needs of the community. We plan to enhance the health care options for the residents in and around Orleans County.”

Martino, Moy and DeCarlo also believe Comprehensive has a proactive approach to “optimizing the facility’s potential.”

Both parties were motivated to work out the terms of Comprehensive’s offer. Lahasky made it clear throughout the process, “We will do whatever needs to be done to make sure each resident has the benefit of the all the assets and unique specialty services that Comprehensive has to offer. Simply put, we are confident that together we will all be able to continue to serve the people of Orleans County – quite well.”