Settling down

Final care center/CHHA suitors named

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ 
Posted 1/20/21

LIBERTY, NY — Another box has been ticked as the county sheds the management of its nursing home and certified home health agency.

Three companies have been chosen by the Local Development …

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Settling down

Final care center/CHHA suitors named

Posted

LIBERTY, NY — Another box has been ticked as the county sheds the management of its nursing home and certified home health agency.

Three companies have been chosen by the Local Development Corporation (LDC) as potential suitors: VestraCare/The McGuire Group; The Grand Healthcare System, based in Valley Stream, NY; and Infinite Care Management from Brooklyn, NY. 

“The LDC has undertaken the appropriate due diligence in reviewing the six responses received to our request for proposals, researching the backgrounds of the applicants and the care provided by their facilities, and meeting personally with the four finalists,” Lowell Feldman, board chair, said in a statement.  

Efforts were made to reach out to all three candidates. 

VestraCare

“VestraCare is excited to be part of the final consideration for the management of the Care Center at Sunset Lake. If selected, our team of health care professionals is eager to welcome the residents and employees into our family of facilities,” the company responded in a statement. 

VestraCare was owned by the Farbenblum family in 2016 when they partnered with the (also family-owned) McGuire Group, creating a chain of 10 nursing homes, according to a McGuire press release at the time. Their facilities were primarily in New York. There is no relation to county attorney Michael McGuire.

Currently, they also own RCA Healthcare Management and the Absolut chain of nursing homes. 

Among VestraCare’s properties is the Roscoe Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Roscoe, NY. 

They can be found on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Nursing Home Compare and on the New York Department of Health (DOH) site. 

Edward Farbenblum has been in the media many times over the last several years for his companies’ work in buying and turning around struggling nursing homes. 

VestraCare, the company said,  “understan[ds] the important role that the care center plays in the lives of county residents and, as such, is prepared to provide preferential admission and hiring to county residents. This includes ensuring job security for those who are currently employed at the care center, as well as the incorporation of robust new clinical programs, professional training and advancement opportunities at all levels.”

The Grand Healthcare System

The Grand Healthcare System did not reply to questions about their plans for the care center/CHHA, the staff, or the residents.  

The Grand, according to corporate information online, was founded in 2014 and at the time was based in Queens, NY. By 2018, they owned numerous facilities in New York State, including in Delaware County. In one case, a troubled facility was to be closed. The Grand became the receiver for Emerald North and South in Buffalo in October 2018. In November, it announced that Emerald South would close. Bed occupancy was low, according to a Buffalo News story. Staff and residents were being successfully relocated.

In 2016, it paid $2 million in fines for unpaid back wages and liquidated damages at five of its facilities, from 2005 to 2016, as well as $133,000 in civil money penalties, according to a Department of Labor press release. 

The Grand Healthcare System is also on Nursing Home Compare and the DOH site.

Infinite Care Management, or: Something of a mystery

Although the company provided a website (www.infinitecare.com), there was no contact number or email address given on the website at the time this story was written. The county’s press release called it a Brooklyn-based company with 18 facilities in New York and Florida.

A search of the CMS Nursing Home Compare database, as well as DOH nursing home data, did not turn up a company by that name—which can mean nothing: Ownership data can be out of date, alternative names might be used or this reporter might’ve missed it. In an era when private equity, for instance, has begun investing more heavily in long-term care, ownership gets complicated. (MarketWatch cited almost 190 private-equity deals totaling $5.3 billion between 2015 and 2020, versus 116 deals totaling about $1 billion between 2010 and 2014.)

So, we don’t know much about Infinite Care Management. Dun & Bradstreet offers Infinite Care Assisted Living (with annual revenue of $63,494) in North Miami, FL. There is an Infinite Care Home Health Care in Brooklyn, NY. PitchBook suggested a company in Australia.

At the legislature’s special meeting last Thursday, one speaker proved she had done her research. She, too, could find little on Infinite Care Management but was given two facility names by the county: Golden Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Kingston, NY and Ten Broeck Commons in Lake Katrine, NY. 

Golden Hill had been owned by VestraCare. By summer 2020, the owner was identified as Golden Hill Acquisitions LLC, according to a Kingston Daily Freeman story by William J. Kemble. Ulster NH Realty intended to purchase the facility; two of the partners also own stakes in Ten Broeck. The company, according to the Daily Freeman, consists of two identified primary owners and four LLCs with unidentified members.

Moving on

Thursday’s January 14 legislative meetings were the first after the final three candidates were announced, and an emergency combined meeting of the LDC and the legislature was held in the afternoon. There was plenty of public comment in earlier meetings, but the comment period scheduled for the afternoon meeting was abruptly canceled and the two groups went into executive session. 

Lowell Feldman, chair of the LDC, said that although the discussion on Thursday was held in executive session, there would be public presentations and public comment before a final decision is made by the legislature.

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