Cumberland County Enters New Year With Unfinished Claremont Accord | The Sentinel: News
New year, same owner of the Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
The Cumberland County-owned retirement home, for which a sale agreement was signed in July, remains in county control, with little information on what could be causing the delay in finalizing the the transaction.
The county’s plan to privatize the nursing facility – the cause of considerable debate last year – has remained in limbo for the past five months, with the county still retaining ownership of Claremont in the New Year despite the purchase agreement concluded with Allaire Health Services.
“We were hoping this would be over by the end of the year, but it doesn’t look like it will happen,” County Commissioner Vince DiFilippo said late last week. âWe’re just trying to get a settlement date from them. There is nothing abnormal to my knowledge. We are not aware of any obstacles or anything of that nature.
Representatives of Allaire did not respond to requests for comment. The sales contract signed last summer is conditional on a number of things that must happen before the close, including the reassignment of contracts, licensing by state regulators and other matters.
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In the meantime, Allaire serves as a management consultant for the facility under a contract also signed in July, although the county retains final control. On Monday, commissioners approved a contract for a new mental health care provider in Claremont after a review of the previous provider “found them unsuitable” for the job, County Chief Clerk Stacy Snyder said.
Maintaining Claremont in the new year could disrupt the county’s finances. The 2022 county budget includes a $ 4.5 million grant to the Claremont account from the county general fund to replace expected losses. This expense would not take place, at least in full, assuming a rapid closure of the retirement home.
The more the finalization of the sale goes on, the more the municipality is also hooked to Allaire; the management contract states that Allaire will receive 3.5% of Claremont’s revenues, excluding certain state Medicaid payments, as compensation for its management services.
Opponents of the Claremont sale last year suggested, in part, that the county backs the facility with federal stimulus funds while seeking a way to turn the facility into public ownership. County commissioner Jean Foschi, who ultimately voted against the sale, also said the county was not looking enough for alternatives other than the sale.
DiFilippo and his fellow commissioner Gary Eichelberger, however, said selling Claremont to a larger supplier with a greater economy of scale was the only way to turn the ship around.
The latest county nursing home board meeting, which included operating data through October, showed the facility continued to struggle.
The main obstacle at Claremont is a massive staff shortage which has limited the number of patients the facility can accept. Although dozens of positions remain open, Claremont posted a net job gain in October, losing five full-time employees but hiring six.
The 282-bed nursing home averaged around 260 patients per day before spring 2020, but enrollments – and therefore revenues – have declined, with a record average daily count of 136 in September 2021. That has risen to 143 patients per day. October day, putting Claremont above the half-occupied mark for the first time since May.
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