Diocese wants to sell South Jersey nursing homes

www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2014/08/26/diocese-wants-sell-south-jersey-nursing-homes/14630869/

The Diocese of Camden said Tuesday it wants to sell its three nursing homes, including a Cherry Hill facility.

The decision to seek a buyer comes after a $6 million shortfall last year, which the diocese blamed on “insufficient Medicare reimbursement.”

It said the financial stress on the homes was likely to increase “as government programs continue to divert seniors from nursing facilities to home- and community-based services.”

The diocese operates the 62-year-old St. Mary’s Catholic Home in Cherry Hill, including The Manor at St. Mary’s, a residential health care facility that opened in 1991. It also wants to sell Our Lady’s Multi-Care Center, which has operated since 1966 in Pleasantville, and the Bishop McCarthy Residence, which opened in 1975 in Vineland.

The diocese will ask that prospective buyers maintain the homes’ Roman Catholic identity, including allowing for religious services and complying with the church’s views on medical ethics and end-of-life care.

“Buyers will be required to allow current residents to remain in the homes,” the diocese said in a statement.

The statement did not include an asking price for the sites.

Proceeds from the sales will fund efforts “to transform health-care ministry to the poor and frail elderly through parish-based programs,” the diocese explained.

The new programs also will help families with other health-related issues, including autism and care for the homebound.

A blue-ribbon advisory committee proposed the changes, according to the diocese. The committee was made up of doctors, attorneys, clergy, administrators of health care institutions and finance experts.

“We are not only seeking ways to change the way we minister to the elderly but also to expand the health care ministry,” said Bishop Dennis Sullivan, who leads the six-county diocese.

“While our commitment to ministry to the elderly continues, we need to be creative in finding new means to support that work, for the current nursing home model cannot be sustained.”

The diocese in 2012 closed the 45-year-old Mater Dei Nursing Home in Newfield.

Church officials at that time noted Mater Dei had operating deficits of more than $500,000 in each of the previous three years.

Reach Jim Walsh at jwalsh@courierpostonline.com or (856) 486-2646.

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One comment on “Diocese wants to sell South Jersey nursing homes

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