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State health agency OKs license transfer for Genesee County Nursing Home’s skilled nursing unit

BATAVIA – An arm of the state Health Department has granted a Certificate of Need license transfer for the largest portion of the Genesee County Nursing Home, marking the initial phase of a $15.2 million deal between the county and Premier Healthcare Management LLC, of Great Neck, Nassau County.

“This is step one of the state’s license-transfer process, and it deals with the 160-bed skilled nursing unit,” County Manager Jay A. Gsell said about the action taken by the state Public Health and Health Planning Council. “From here, this will go to the full Health Department for approval.”

Gsell said he expects that the Certificate of Need transfer request for the 80-bed assisted-living residence at the Bank Street facility will be considered later this spring, and that the sale will be completed by the fall.

According to documents submitted to the Public Health and Health Planning Council, the nursing home will be called Genesee Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, operated by Genesee Center Operating LLC and owned by Batavian Realty LLC.

The three principals are Jacob Sod and Jonathan Bleier, who each have a 35 percent stake of the business, and Bernard Fuchs, who has a 30 percent share.

A corresponding application for the change in ownership of the adult home is under review by the state Division of Adult Care Facilities and Assisted Living.

Lisa M. Sofia, Premier’s chief operating officer, said company officials have been in Batavia on numerous occasions and are in touch with staff on a daily basis.

“We have been working with the county and our administrators, and we’re working on our strategy to ensure a smooth transition,” she said. “We’re excited that the process is moving along.”

Premier owns five other adult care facilities, including the Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Butler, Pa., which had been county-owned.

“This has been a very good undertaking for us,” Gsell said. “The people at Premier are not real estate investors. … They know how to run nursing homes.”

County legislators voted last June to sell the nursing home, which has experienced operating losses exceeding $13 million over the last four years.

Gsell said he anticipates that the county will net around $7 million after paying off pension contributions, workers compensation contributions and debt for facility upgrades.