Owners of a Scarsdale rehabilitation center and nursing home will pay $22.7 million to acquire a 120-bed nursing home in Yonkers built and operated for 14 years by Riverside Health Care System on the Odell Avenue campus of St. John’s Riverside Hospital.
The transfer of the Michael N. Malotz Skilled Nursing Pavilion from the nonprofit hospital to a for-profit operator, L&A Operations LLC, is expected to close in mid-July. The nursing home, whose occupancy rate has declined in the last few years, will be renamed Adira at Riverside Rehabilitation and Nursing, according to an application filed with the state Health Department by the prospective new owners.
The three-member ownership group also operates Sprain Brook Manor Rehab in Scarsdale. Allen Stein, one of two majority owners, is managing partner and president and CEO of Sprain Brook Manor. Stein and majority partner Lazer Strulovich, owner of a door and hardware distributor and a real estate management company in Brooklyn, also operate Long Beach Assisted Living and Island Assisted Living on Long Island.
Officials at St. John’s Riverside recently notified the state Labor Department that the nursing home sale will result in layoffs for 226 employees in early July. Workers at the 120 Odell Ave. facility are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and Local 30 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
The health care workers union in July signed a four-year master contract with the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Nursing Homes, a group of metropolitan area hospitals and nursing homes that includes St. John’s Riverside and its Yonkers nursing home, said 1199SEIU spokeswoman Mindy Berman in Albany. “We are looking forward to working with the new employer to establish a relationship,” she said. Berman noted that Sprain Brook Manor workers also are represented by 1199SEIU.
Sprain Brook Manor’s owners in their Health Department application said they expect to save approximately $1 million annually by outsourcing the equivalent of 27 full-time nursing home jobs for therapy, dietary, and laundry and linen services. They expect to save an additional $2.35 million yearly in employee fringe benefit costs.
Stein and officers at Sprain Brook Manor were not available for comment this week during Passover observance.
St. John’s Riverside Hospital in 2001 opened the Malotz Skilled Nursing Pavilion overlooking the Hudson River. “We built it, we came to the community to get the support,” said hospital spokeswoman Denise Mananas. “It was tough for us, it was very hard for us to let it go.”
Riverside Health Care in the last five years has relied almost exclusively on patients discharged from its hospital facilities for admissions to its nursing home. With a limited pool of potential long-term care residents, nursing home occupancy declined from 96.4 percent in 2012 to 92.9 percent as of October, according to the Health Department application.
Through collaborations with St. John’s Riverside and health care and social services providers in Westchester County, and with renovations to the facility to create a “friendly, home-like and enjoyable environment” for elderly residents, the new owner expects to raise the nursing home’s occupancy rate to 97 percent.
St. John’s Riverside will receive $8 million to $10 million from the sale of the nursing home property and assets, Mananas said.
“With the changing market, we really needed to focus on our core business,” she said. “Particularly now, as we are in this health care transition. It will strengthen us and help us to better manage that transition.”