iCare Sees Potential in Skilled Nursing Facility Bought Out of Receivership

A skilled nursing facility in Hartford, Conn., is getting a second life after receivership, with iCare Health Network assuming operations this past Friday.

The 150-bed SNF, which used to be known as Park Place Health Center, will operate under the name Parkville Care Center. The facility was part of Spectrum Healthcare, which underwent bankruptcy twice, iCare vice president of business development David Skoczulek told Skilled Nursing News.

“There’s always a question in the bankruptcy whether there’s a challenge to the building in general that’ll persist to new owners, or whether it’s a corporate structural issue,” he noted. “Our team built cost models to see whether it was viable in terms of census and what control and cost measures could be put in place … We could make it viable.”

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The Manchester, Conn.-based iCare, provides management, operating, and consulting services to SNFs and other health care providers, directly managing 11 sites in the Constitution State. The network has a history of purchasing distressed SNFs out of receivership, even though it is rare for SNFs in Connecticut to emerge from that process, Skoczulek said.

“It’s been the position of the state that there are too many SNF beds in Connecticut, and that’s not necessarily a position shared by people in our industry. That’s just been the philosophy in terms of the bed count,” he said.

State officials examine distressed facilities in the context of the larger bed count in the area; if regulators determine that there’s a need for the beds and the facility can be financially viable, someone can move in to buy it, Skocuzulek explained. However, if the state determines there are enough SNF beds in the area, it will work with the facility to close it and move residents out.

The area in which iCare operates has seen half a dozen closures over the past five years, Skoczulek said. But Parkville works with an underserved population in the city of Hartford, he noted: The licensed beds house primarily Hispanic, Spanish-speaking residents, according to comments by receiver Jonathan Neagle when the sale of the SNF to iCare was approved.

The location also had some overlap with the company’s existing network. iCare has two facilities in Hartford already, and Parkville fits the size, scope, and services offered by the other care centers. The staff is also similar to the staff of iCare, and there were in fact some per diem workers who already worked for iCare, Skoczulek said. As of Monday, 129 of the facility’s approximately 190 employees has elected to stay on, he added.

Parkville currently has 122 residents. iCare has some “negotiated timelines” with Connecticut as part of the receivership process, and one of those includes targeting a healthier census, Skoczulek told SNN. As a result, iCare is looking at the types of clinical programs it might offer to drive that shift. At present, Parkville provides long-term care, memory care, and short-term rehabilitation, and because of the predominantly Hispanic population, any new services will have to be culturally appropriate, Skoczulek observed.

In the meantime, iCare has begun to take some steps to turn the facility around, a process that Skoczulek estimates will take about six months to a year. This includes looking at vendors and contracts, bringing some services in-house and outsourcing others, and centralizing back office functions like scheduling, payroll, bookkeeping, and admissions.

In addition, iCare’s therapy company, Touchpoints Rehab, has taken over the rehab department at Parkville, even before iCare assumed operations.

“We know the cost controls around that,” Skoczulek told SNN. “It’s easier to figure out how to put it all together when you can see both sides of it as the purchaser of therapy and the provider.”

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