Combining resources has become unavoidable in business, and no business has been more aggressive in pooling resources as the nursing home industry, and with that in mind two storied providers in the area have merged and will move forward together.
Chelsea Jewish Foundation, which operates the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home and the Lenny Florence Center for Living – both in Chelsea, announced this month that it will enter into a management contract with the well-respected Annemark Nursing Home in North Revere.
While the family-owned Annemark will remain within the same ownership, and the name will be retained, Chelsea Jewish will step in to perform the day-to-day work and resident care.
Chelsea Jewish COO Adam Berman said they have been considering management of other nursing homes for some time in addition to running their own homes, but nothing quite made sense until now.
“We’ve been approached by different groups in the past about management services,” he said. “They didn’t necessarily want to sell, but they wanted someone to come in and run the facility. There have been different parties, but we didn’t feel there was a good connection. As a non-profit, we can be selective. If we don’t feel we’ll get support from the owners, we don’t want to put our name on it. Our name is very important to us.
“With this, it was evident very quickly this was a group we could partner with, a group we could work with,” he continued. “We know their philosophy of care. It’s been family-owned since the beginning. It was founded on the right principles. It wasn’t profit-motivated, but motivated by the people they serve. Given the proximity to us, our existing relationship and their philosophy, very quickly it was determined this was going to work.”
Chelsea Jewish is already on site at the home, and has been since January. However, a formal management contract has not yet been inked, but is expected to be done within 60 days.
For Chelsea Jewish, the move is the beginning of what could be a good piece of new business. With a stellar reputation built over decades, and small nursing homes in the area struggling, there is ample opportunity for expansion in management.
“We absolutely will look to do more of this,” said Berman. “If it’s a good fit, we feel we’re at a point in our company’s growth that if it’s the right partner and the right situation, we could do more of this…We don’t have anything in the works now. There are certain things we’re thinking about, but we have the ability to be selective and we are being selective.”
As far as Annemark is concerned, ownership responsibilities will remain in the hands of existing owners, Elena Bean and Anita Pelusi. However, Chelsea Jewish will maintain the operations end.
“They are our employer,” said Berman. “We’re responsible for nursing, dietary, maintenance and other things. Living issues will go through our company, our management company, and we’re the ones doing all the development. When someone comes into the facility, that’s the ownership, but it’s us making the day-to-day decisions about the budget set forth for us.”
Berman also said Annemark and other small, family-owned facilities are facing an uphill battle today – mostly because of the daunting requirements put on homes.
“Nursing homes are closing,” he said. “There has been a wave of closures. It’s the small, family-owned facilities most at risk for difficulties. There are some economies of scale and efficiencies that come when you have a centralized management office. You can combine resources where if you’re a single home you cannot do. Health care has changed and will continue to change. There are so many requirements – reporting requirements or reimbursement requirements – that it’s hard to keep up…Health care – right or wrong -has become a larger business in that sense.