Archbishop Charles Chaput

Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, one of the nation’s largest faith-based long-term care providers, has decided to market its six nursing homes and one assisted living facility to help close a huge budget deficit.

The Aug. 20 announcement came a month after the archdiocese released audited financial statements for the first time, showing a $39 million operating deficit and balance sheet issues totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

The CHCS facilities were well managed, according to Archbishop Charles Chaput, but larger financial problems for the archdiocese might necessitate their sale.

The facilities will be sold  only if all residents can remain, Chaput stated. He also said “every effort will be made” to retain staff. 

Chaput has a “sincere hope” the buyer will be Catholic, but that is not a make-or-break condition, a spokesman for the archdiocese told McKnight’s.

The 1,400-bed system is the seventh-largest faith-based U.S. skilled nursing provider, according to the archdiocese. 

The archdiocese has faced steep costs related to sexual abuse committed by priests, but its fiscal crisis was really precipitated by questionable management, Chief Financial Officer Timothy O’Shaughnessy told the Philadelphia Inquirer. For example, the Office for Financial Services essentially borrowed $82 million from the archdiocese’s trust and loan fund, to pay bills. Last year, the archdiocese promised sell real estate to repay that amount.

CHCS is not the only large Catholic provider selling nursing homes. Catholic Health Partners recently announced it is selling five, in Ohio and Indiana. Diversicare will take over operations. 

CHP is developing an accountable care organization in Ohio, and said it is trying to better align its senior care services with area health networks.