After Beth Abe sale, residents kept in dark

Beth Abraham Health Services facility, which has been a staple in the neighborhood since the 1920s.
Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

Residents of one of the borough’s oldest nursing homes are concerned about their future after the facility was sold recently.

In the aftermath of the transfer of Beth Abraham Health Services to Centers Health Care from CenterLight Health System in February, residents of the facility claim that there has been no communication from either the previous or current owners about the transaction.

The 90-year old, 450-bed facility with three floors designated for short term rehabilitation, two floors dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients, is said to have an uncertain future, according to its staff.

“We have not been notified of any changes – so nobody truly knows what is going to happen in the long term,” said Barbara Wiscovitch, a former recreational assistant at Beth Abraham for nearly 30 years who currently lives in a rental appartment across the street from the facility, owned ny CenterLight.

“There has been absolutely no communication from CenterLight on what has happened or what is going to happen next,” she said.

She learned that her apartment lease was changed from fixed rate to month-to-month, which means the landlord can raise the rent, change rental terms, or even evict her for any reason with short notice.

“Are they asking us to move out in 30 days? Because that’s impossible – nobody can move out in such a short period of time,” Wiscovitch added.

“During this process, the voice of the community have been disabled and muted – and our voices need to be heard,” said Howard Kalish, a Beth Abraham resident for the past four years. “We (the residents) don’t want there to be any firings or reductions – because those changes will result in bad health care. However, it seems like (CenterLight) is going to do what’s best for them, even if it affects us.

“The new owner (Centers Health Care) could make this facility great again – in a lot of ways. The current scenario can’t get any worse,” Kalish added.

Back in January, it was announced that CenterLight would have to re-pay $47 million after it was found guilty of billing Medicaid for its Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Plan for over 1,200 Medicaid recipients who were not provided with services.

In the settlement, CenterLight admitted to enrolling beneficiaries of Medicaid who were not eligible to received managed long-term care. The multi-million dollar settlement very well could have been the reason behind selling the Beth Abraham Facility, according to sources.

CenterLight has also sold two other facilities – the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brooklyn and Schnurmacher in White Plains its been reported.

Currently, Margaret Tietz Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Queens is still owned by CenterLight.

CenterLight did not wish to be interviewed, but did say in a statement that they look forward to continuing to work with Centers Health Care.

Centers Health Care, which was founded in the Bronx in 1996, is headed by CEO Kenny Rozenberg, who owned over 30 nursing homes in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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