Health Care and Wellness

Ohio Living Park Vista Being Sold to Natick HCG

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A representative of Ohio Living has confirmed the company is in the beginning phases of selling Ohio Living Park Vista.

The retirement community, 1216 Fifth Ave., is being sold to Natick Healthcare Group LLC. Ohio Living expects the sale to be complete by early November, the representative said. The sale price was not disclosed.

Natick’s managing partner, Shlomo Mushell, is committed to providing “the same high-quality care that Ohio Living Park Vista has been known for” and to protect job security, the representative said. Ohio Living Park Vista currently employs 218.

The Business Journal was notified late Wednesday that residents were advised of the sale during a meeting earlier in the day. The representative said staff and residents were informed in April that Ohio Living was exploring a number of options, including the sale of the operation, due to economic pressures of operating Park Vista in Youngstown.

Park Vista has operated in the city since 1947. Ohio Living operates other facilities in the state, including Ohio Living Lake Vista in Cortland, Ohio Living Home Health and Hospice, the Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute here, as well as the Senior Center here operated by Ohio Living Home Health and Hospice.

Park Vista is the only location for sale by Ohio Living. The economic pressure amounts to changing health-care reimbursements that have made it difficult to sustain business at Park Vista, the representative said.

This challenge was echoed in a letter to residents that was distributed at the meeting.

“As we mentioned in April, market pressures brought about by changes in the health-care industry made it necessary to look at possible changes here at Park Vista,” the letter states. “To continue without change was not possible.”

The full letter can be read here.

The news has many residents there feeling uneasy, says Janice Bolchalk, a resident at Ohio Living Park Vista. Bolchalk has lived at the community for three years and says, “it’s a great place to be.” While some residents are in shock over the announcement, others, like Bolchalk, are taking a wait-and-see approach, she says.

“Everybody’s been a little uneasy since April, wondering what was going to happen,” Bolchalk says. “Park Vista was losing money and they needed to figure out a way to keep it going. At that point, they said they might sell the facility and have the contract to manage it, or they might associate themselves with some other company around here, or they might sell it.”

One of the top concerns among residents is the future status of life-care contracts, in which residents can remain at the campus and receive services in the event they run out of money through no fault of their own.

According to the letter to residents, signed by Laurence C. Gumina, CEO of Ohio Living, “All commitments to residents with life care agreements will be honored. In the weeks ahead, the new owners will be sharing more information and will be available to answer your questions.”

During the meeting, residents asked Park Vista representatives if the contracts could be transferred to another Ohio Living facility, or if the down payment they made for the contract could be put toward the entry fee for another Ohio Living facility, Bolchalk says.

Park Vista representatives were unable to answer those questions, she says. But they did say the existing life care contracts would be honored.

“They said that they would. I’m a little skeptical, but I hope it’s true,” Bolchalk says.

“The sale agreement includes honoring all existing Life Care commitments for residents,” the Ohio Living representative confirmed.

Park Vista staff could not answer questions pertaining to whether all staff would remain at the community, or to the extent of Natick Healthcare Group’s background, Bolchalk notes.

NursingHomeDatabase.com states that as of July 1, Shlomo Mushell is the “managing employee” of Sprain Brook Manor Rehab in Scarsdale, N.Y., which has an overall rating of two stars based on performance reviews by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Five stars is the top rating which the bottom 20% receive a 1-star rating. Deficiencies found during standard inspections and from complaints filed by residents are posted here.

Mushell’s LInkedIn page states he is regional director of operations at Care Rite Centers LLC, a network of rehabilitation centers in the Greater New York area.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.