Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NORRISTOWN, PA — A “working group” of senior county staff is recommending the sale of Montgomery County’s Parkhouse Providence Pointe nursing care complex to a Maryland-based company.
While no action has yet been taken regarding the proposed Parkhouse transaction, the Montgomery County commissioners are entertaining the idea of selling the facility to a private firm, Mid-Atlantic Health Care LLC, for $39 million.
The nine-member working group is composed of senior staff from the Department of Aging and Adult Services, the county planning commission and Parkhouse Providence Pointe administrators. Of 10 respondents, all members of the group vouched Tuesday for Mid-Atlantic as the outstanding applicant to the request for proposals the county issued in June.
As part of an overall review of all county enterprises, about 200 acres of land at Parkhouse near Royersford could be put on the block. This sale, however, would exclude the newly-zoned open space across from Route 113, the home to more than 1,700 unmarked graves, some dating back to the early part of the 19th century.
Northampton County is debating the privatization of Gracedale. Gracedale is the county’s nursing home with 650 residents.
This would be a big deal as Gracedale is Pennsylvania’s second-largest nursing home. There are 750 employees. The reason for this consideration is the drain on the county budget. $7.8 million to be exact. Northampton County is looking at a $10 million budget deficit and possible 20% tax hike. Ouch!
Gracedale has more beds than demand. 725 beds, 650 residents. Employee benefits are also gobbling up the profits. Can you say pension plan nightmare!
At this time, leasing the facility seems to be the preferred course of action. However, patient care would have to be guaranteed. By leasing Gracedale, the county would be off the hook for the $7.8 million while receiving $2.5 million in annual revenue from whatever company would lease the facility. $10 million deficit eliminated. Selling Gracedale would generate $31 million for the county.
There seems to be a growing trend of Pennsylvania counties selling their nursing homes. Carbon, Dauphin, Luzerne, Lancaster and Cambria counties have all unloaded their county nursing homes.
Lehigh County has no plans to sell their nursing home but they are seeking ways to contain costs.