The county-owned nursing and assisted living homes are set to see a change in management this week, as the company interested in buying the facilities gets a jump-start on running them.
On Thursday, Aurora Health Management will take the reins at Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living on a month-to-month contract that is expected to last until the Millersville-based company purchases the two facilities. County commissioners on June 25 voted to sell the centers to Aurora for $30 million.
Aurora will take over for LW Consulting, a Pennsylvania business that has managed Citizens and Montevue for more than 18 months. The county has agreed to pay Aurora $50,000 per month to run the facilities and head up everything from purchasing to health care reporting.
The county will immediately start benefiting from the changeover, said Michael Marschner, the county's special projects manager. For instance, since Aurora operates seven other nursing homes, the company is able to buy medications at lower prices. Buying pharmaceuticals at the prices available to Aurora would save the county more than $200,000 a year, Marschner said.
In addition, Aurora's monthly fee to manage the facilities is $3,000 less than LW's, he said.
"We've already got savings before they come through the door," he said.
Marschner doesn't anticipate any problems in the transition between management companies, though he said LW is hurrying to complete some financial statements before they hand off to Aurora.
The 27-page contract between the county and Aurora establishes the company's duties to include running the centers, preparing monthly and quarterly financial summaries, and making recommendations for staff reorganization.
Decisions about hiring and firing county employees will stay with the county, but Aurora will weigh in on personnel matters, according to the agreement signed by Commissioners President Blaine Young and Aurora President Stanley Snow.
Aurora is sending a couple of staff members to begin working in the facilities and will offer more operational support from its headquarters, Marschner said. Melinda Davis will be business office manager, and Michael Roles will become the administrator for the centers, replacing LW's Bob Aims.
Aurora also agreed to provide an on-site Medicare and Medicaid billing specialist, according to the contract.
Marschner said it's difficult to estimate when Aurora's purchase will be finalized.
Sale opponents have taken steps to block the transaction, and legal action could cause delays, Marschner said. However, even taking legal proceedings into account, he estimates the closing date will come within six months.
Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.