Transfer of ownership took place at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31
PHOTO: CEOs and representatives of Allaire Healthcare Group, LLC and Preferred Care Holding, LLC and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders signed papers on Nov. 12, 2015 to formalize and advance the sale of the County’s two care centers. Pictured left to right in the photo are Ben Kurland, CEO of Allaire Healthcare Group; Mutty Scheinbaum, CEO of Preferred Care Holdings; Barry Mermelstein, Preferred Care Holdings; Fatima Nabi, Preferred Care Holdings; Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone; Freeholder John P. Curley; Freeholder Director Gary J. Rich Sr.; Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso; and Freeholder Lillian G. Burry.
FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders made good on its commitment to sell both Monmouth County care centers by the end of 2015 by transferring the ownership of John L. Montgomery Care Center (JLM) and Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center (GLT) to new owners at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2015.
“The JLM and GLT facilities changed hands at midnight, but the residents woke up on New Year’s Day with many of the same staff members providing their care,” said Freeholder Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. “To provide continuum of care and to minimize disruption for the residents, the purchasers of both facilities hired a number of County employees.”
Allaire Healthcare Group LLC of Lakewood purchased the 174-bed JLM nursing home and the specialized 24 bed young adult unit, located on Dutch Lane Road in Freehold Township, for $17.4 million. The facility has been renamed Allaire Rehab and Nursing.
“Allaire is beginning a new phase of the facility’s history with a strong commitment to our residents and the quality of care,” said Ben Kurland, CEO of Allaire Healthcare Group.
Preferred Care Holdings LLC of Ewing purchased the 135-bed GLT nursing home, located on Hospital Road in the Allenwood section of Wall, for $15 million. The facility has been renamed Preferred Care at Wall.
“Within Preferred Care there is a beautiful new acute care unit, The Suites at Wall, that lead our transition to being a regional leader in short and long term care,” said Mutty Scheinbaum, CEO of Preferred Care Holdings.
“The sale of the care centers relieves the financial burden on the County and its taxpayers,” said Freeholder John P. Curley. “I have been an outspoken advocate for the sale because of the multi-million dollar drain the care centers had on the County’s finances. The sales yielded $32.4 million and that is good news for our taxpayers.”
“The terms of sale were quite specific,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso. “Each of the buyers must continue to maintain and operate their respective facilities as a nursing home, long-term care or assisted living facility for at least 10 years. The buyers also provided an interview opportunity for each care center employee.”
Ninety-five percent of the care center employees were offered employment with the new owners. Thirty five employees accepted other positions in the County and 56 employees retired before the end of 2015.
At both care centers, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates have been declining sharply for the last several years. Additionally, the escalating costs of providing care for the residents, the upkeep of the physical infrastructure and required capital projects created a budget deficit. The care centers operated at a combined loss of $6.7 million in 2014.
“A healthcare company is better positioned, with the knowledge and resources, to provide quality care for residents,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone. “The decision to sell the care centers was made after much discussion and deliberation; it was a decision made in the best interest of the entire County.”
During the week of Dec. 28, both Preferred Care and Allaire Healthcare were notified by the NJ Department of Health that they could move forward with the transfer of the care center ownership from Monmouth County.
“The staff of both our care centers served the residents wonderfully throughout this entire process,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “They were on the frontline of this sale and dealt with uncertainty on a professional and personal level since March. We thank them for their service and wish them well.”
In March 2015 the Board of Freeholders voted 4-1 to privatize both care centers and designated Monmouth County Administrator Teri O’Connor and County Counsel Andrea Bazer to take the steps necessary to sell the care centers.
A public auction was held on Oct. 20. Since that time, County administration has been focused on closing the sale by the end of 2015.
“Much thanks goes to the County’s administrative team for moving this sale forward,” said Rich.
“There were numerous steps and hurdles in this process and the freeholders appreciate the due diligence and sensitivity the staff used in getting these transactions completed on time and for the betterment of the residents, staff and taxpayers.”
“Monmouth County appreciates the timely and thorough review by the NJ Department of Health that allowed the sale of both care centers to be completed by midnight on Dec. 31,” said Curley.
In the event that the sales were not closed in 2015, the County had put the necessary contracts in place to continue to care for the residents of both care centers until each of the sales could be finalized.
Beginning in the 1930s, John L Montgomery Care Center offered geriatric care services and specialized in long term care for younger residents (less than 50 years of age) with neurological impairments that include multiple sclerosis, significant developmental disabilities and severe brain and spinal cord injuries.
Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center specialized in long term living for the elderly, with a strong history of caring for the infirm and elderly of Monmouth and Ocean Counties since the 1920s.