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Inglis Foundation agrees to sell its Philadelphia nursing home to fast-growing for-profit firm
Philadelphia Inquirer - 7/28/2022
Jul. 29—Inglis Foundation has agreed to sell its nursing home in West Philadelphia to a fast-growing for-profit based in New Jersey that already owns 10 facilities in the Philadelphia region, the nonprofit Inglis said Thursday.
The sale of Inglis House, a 252-bed facility that traces its roots to 1877, builds on the trend of nonprofits getting out of the nursing home business to escape relentless financial and regulatory pressures as they aim to preserve their overall missions.
Federal records show that Inglis House, which specializes in care for people with paralysis and impaired mobility, had $75 million in operating losses in the five years ended June 30, 2021, depleting the organization's substantial endowment still worth about $240 million.
"If we just utilize all of the investment account to underwrite the losses, the whole organization ceases to exist in the foreseeable future, and that's what we're trying to prevent," Inglis Foundation chief executive Dyann Roth said.
A recent increase in rates for Medicaid, which pays for most nursing-home care in Pennsylvania, "would only extend our trajectory of life by about five years," Roth said, adding that there's a great deal of uncertainty about how long the rate increase will last and how much of it will get to nursing home providers.
Roth declined to say how much Inglis will receive for its facilities at 2600 Belmont Ave. The sale includes Morris-Klein Apartments on the same campus. Inglis' total revenue, including home- and community-based services and affordable housing, was $40 million in the year ended June 30, 2021.
Two years ago Abramson Senior Services sold its nonprofit nursing home.
Any sale of a nonprofit nursing home to a for-profit sets off alarms for advocates, but for-profits are the only buyers in recent years.
"We have not been able to identify a nonprofit that was in a position to take on an operation that comes with a lot of immediate loss," Roth said.
Abramson Senior Care faced the same problem when it sold its highly rated Horsham nursing home to Imperial Healthcare Group in 2020.
An experienced buyer from New Jersey
The buyer Inglis chose is Tryko Partners, a Brick, N.J., company backed by four families, according to regulatory filings. Already this year, Tryko acquired the former Restore Health University City at 3609 Chestnut St. and nonprofit Virtua Health nursing homes in Berlin and Mount Holly. In 2020, Tryko bought another local nonprofit, the former Regina Nursing Center in Norristown, now known as Markley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
Tryko has been in Philadelphia since 2013 when it bought Kearsley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, which is less than a mile from Inglis. Tryko owns about 45 nursing homes on the East Coast.
Philadelphia city officials are planning to close Philadelphia Nursing Home by the end of 2022.
Tryko, led by Yitzchok Rokowsky, invests in apartments, nursing homes, and tax liens, according to its website. An affiliated company, Marquis Ltd., run by Nachum, also known as Norman, Rokeach, provides what Tryko describes as "consulting services" for Tryko's nursing homes.
Marquis sometimes collects a 6% fee for its work, according to regulatory filings in other states, but Tryko said in an email that the fee is expected to be less at Inglis. Tryko described its individual nursing homes as "self-operated," but Kearsley, for example, pays rent, management, and consulting fees to four entities related to Tryko, according to its latest federal cost report available on SNFData.com.
Inglis House, which employs 502, will operate as Enlive Rehabilitation and Wellness at Inglis House.
Because the sale will shift charitable assets to for-profit control, the sale needs approval from the state Office of Attorney General and Philadelphia Orphans' Court. Those processes could take months.
Worries for residents
Meanwhile, residents are on pins and needles.
"All of us felt extremely unsettled and nervous because we felt when we came to Inglis with the foundation having this place for over 100 years that we would be in their care," said Mary Cyzyk, 67, who has lived at Inglis for 14 years. "Then they told us we were up for sale."
Cyzyk described Inglis as "the crown jewel" of long-term care. "It's absolutely fabulous," she said. "They have an adaptive technology computer lab. They visit our rooms and help set up our rooms so that people who have limitations can handle it with their voice."
Cyzyk worries that could change after the sale. The sale agreement requires Tryko to allow current residents to remain at Inglis as long as they choose.
Diane Menio, executive director of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly in Center City, said she hoped Inglis picked a good provider for the sale.
"The thing about Inglis House is that the residents are very, very vocal. They are not going to give these people an easy time," Menio said, referring to the buyers. The owners are going to be held "more accountable in this facility than they are in most facilities," she said.
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