Frederick County officials today announced that a for-profit company has taken ownership of operations at the county's nursing and assisted living centers.
The shift means that Aurora Health Management is assuming ownership of the finances for Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living. It also involves transitioning county employees at the centers to Aurora's payroll.
The operational transfer is the first part of a three-step sale to Aurora, according to a county news release. Though the $30 million deal approved last year by commissioners includes the building and grounds where the centers are located, the land is currently tied up in litigation. As a result, under an asset purchase agreement signed by commissioners, Aurora will initially lease the building and property, the news release stated.
The company would assume ownership of the building in the second part of the sale, while the land transfer would happen last, county officials have said.
The agreement between Aurora and the county also lays out the process for transitioning center staff to employment with Aurora. The employees will receive consideration of their current pay, acquired leave and benefits and will get health insurance through their current provider, CIGNA, according to the release.
Commissioners President Blaine Young commented that making Aurora responsible for finances at the money-losing centers relieves a burden from taxpayers.
"As we have stated in the past, we know this has been a very emotional matter, but when a majority of this board was elected, we promised to address the difficult issues and make decisive steps to get our financial house in order," Young said in the news release.
Officials have agreed to pay Aurora $10.7 million in five installments so that Montevue residents who had depended on county subsidies can continue to receive care at the facility.