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York County puts nursing home on the block

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York County is looking to sell the historic county-owned Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Springettsbury Township.

The county, which first opened Pleasant Acres in 1805, is asking commissioners to approve an agreement with Lower Paxton Township-based consulting firm Susquehanna Group Advisors to search for a buyer for the facility. A vote on the agreement is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 31.

The move comes after a decade of mounting costs for Pleasant Acres, a trend that shows no sign of slowing. According to the county, Pleasant Acres has received $75 million in subsidies from the county and $10 million in capital investments over the last ten years.

In the next three years, the county estimates Pleasant Acres will need $7.5 million per year in average annual subsidies and require another $10 million in capital improvements.

"It is a burdensome operation for a county government to conduct," said Mark Walters, a spokesperson for the county.

About 80 percent of current residents and patients at Pleasant Acres are Medicaid recipients, said Walters, and the county is prioritizing buyers who will retain services the center provides.  

"We’re only interested in selling it to places that share the core mission and values of Pleasant Acres," said Walters.

County officials have debated selling the 375-bed center for years and finally comes as other midstate counties are offloading their own centers.

In 2014, Lebanon County sold the Cedar Haven Healthcare Center in South Lebanon Township for $25.5 million to Montgomery County-based Complete HealthCare Resources.

Complete also began running the Conestoga View Nursing and Rehabilitation for Lancaster County in 2003 and eventually bought the facility in 2005. The sale of that facility became the subject of a grand jury investigation, resulting in three county commissioners pleading guilty to transparency violations, according to media reports at the time. 

In 2016 Cumberland County began seeking proposals on privatizating some functions at Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Middlesex Township.

Dauphin County finalized sale of Spring Creek Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Swatara Township back in 2007 to Continuum Care Holdings for $14.3 million. In 2015 the facility was sold to Brooklyn-based TL Management, which manages over a hundred nursing facilities nationwide.

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