By LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — The new owners of Horace Nye Nursing Home are planning to assume control of the facility on the first day of the new year.
The State Department of Health approved the Certificate of Need — the new operating license — on Oct. 3 for the Centers for Specialty Care, the Bronx-based firm that signed the contract to buy Essex County’s 100-bed facility for $4.05 million in June 2012.
County Manager Daniel Palmer said he’s just waiting for the paperwork to arrive from the Department of Health to make it official.
“The owners are scheduled to come up the first part of December for (Horace Nye) department head meetings. They will be conducting meetings with all staff. The overall speculation is we would have a closing by the end of the year.”
The Department of Health Planning Council’s Executive Committee first OK’d the transfer, then it went to the full council and was ratified.
“We should get the certificate (of need) two to three weeks after approval,” County Attorney Daniel Manning III said.
“There were some conditions attached, some minor financial conditions and acceptance of Medicaid patients.”
He said the new owners must take Medicaid patients for a minimum of two years after the sale.
The county also set its own conditions on the sale: give first preference for rooms to county residents, allow present patients to stay and give jobs to present employees.
MEETING WITH WORKERS
Some employees of the home had protested the sale, saying the wages paid by the new owners could be less than those the county offers. About 135 people work at Horace Nye.
Manning said the county will hold a meeting with Horace Nye employees once a firm transfer date is set.
“We are hoping to close on the whole deal by the end of December, and we’re hopeful that it will be fully transferred over by Jan. 1 (2014). We do not see where there will be any problems.”
He said the Centers for Specialty Care will hold meetings with workers at the Nursing Home to explain and prepare for the transfer.
The sale of Horace Nye includes the building, lawn and parking lot, a total of 3.2 acres.
National broker Marcus & Millichap of Chicago marketed the home for the county after the County Board of Supervisors decided the facility’s $2 million-a-year deficit was too much to maintain.
The Centers for Specialty Care operates several nursing homes that were previously county-owned, in Fulton, Orange and other counties.
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