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Local News -

October 6, 2012

Partner: Countryside sale pending

A sale of Countryside Care Center in Delhi could receive federal approval within the next few days, a partner in the center’s ownership company said Friday.

Ralph Reid, a partner in Leatherstocking Healthcare LLC, said that, if approved by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the home would be sold to a company he identified as Advanced Healthcare.

Stephanie Valle, a spokeswoman for Rep Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, who is helping to guide the CMS application, confirmed Friday that a memorandum of agreement for the sale had been signed by Leatherstocking and the buyer, but she would not identify the buyer.

Reid said Countryside was already preparing for the sale.

“We’re starting a list of people who want to come back,” he said, adding later that officials at the home had stopped “as of this minute” asking residents to leave.

Some residents were still departing, but were doing so on their own, he said.

The resident population at the 199-bed institution stood at 34 on Friday, state Health Department spokesman Jeffrey Hammond said in an email.

Reid said that “last year, Countryside cost $2 million more than it took in.”

He blamed the losses on a reduction in Medicaid payments.

Leatherstocking’s three partners, Reid, Ernest Orts and Dale Johnson, bore that loss, Reid said.

“We are very devastated,” he said.

He said the home’s problems with regulators resulted from a cascade of events that subjected it to additional scrutiny, which, in turn, found more problems.

“We were surveyed twice as much” as other institutions, he said. “Almost every one of those violations was very, very minor.”

State Health Department records show that from September 2009 to August 2012, Countryside had 65.7 “complaints and incidents received” per 100 beds, while the statewide average was 25.5. Such complaints and incidents are not the products of state inspections.

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