Golden LivingCenters sells SNFs at center of PA lawsuit

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Golden Living CEO Neil Kurtz said the “baseless” lawsuit was filed “in retaliation” by the AG.
Golden Living CEO Neil Kurtz said the “baseless” lawsuit was filed “in retaliation” by the AG.

A New York-based healthcare provider acquired the licenses of 10 Pennsylvania Golden LivingCenters that were targeted in a lawsuit filed by former state Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Kane's lawsuit, announced in 2015, claimed that 14 Golden facilities were understaffed and “failed to meet residents' most basic human needs.” The provider later shot back, calling the lawsuits “retaliation” for challenging the state attorney's authority. 

The lawsuit was later expanded to include 11 more facilities.

Priority Healthcare Group announced its acquisition of 10 of the facilities, as well as a personal care home and one other skilled nursing facility not sued by the state, in early February. A spokesman for Priority told online news service PennLive the company was drawn to the Golden portfolio because of its specialty in turning around struggling facilities. 

Priority also acquired 14 facilities last year operated by Reliant Senior Care, which faced a similiar state lawsuit.

Michelle Metzger, a spokeswoman for Golden, declined to comment on the motivation behind the sale to PennLive, adding that the sale “was a business decision.”

“We are a privately traded company and we are not going to reveal the reasoning behind it,” Metzger said. “It's not relevant.”

The acquisition brings Priority's total number of facilities in Pennsylvania to 25. The provider also operates facilities in Massachusetts, Vermont, Michigan, New Jersey and Connecticut.

“We look forward to continued growth of our operations in Pennsylvania while not losing any of our focus on patient care,” said David Gamzeh, Priority co-founder and managing partner.

Operations of another nine Golden facilities, including one named in the lawsuit, were transferred to Skyline Healthcare in February.