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A new, unknown company gets key role at 38 Pennsylvania nursing homes and 7 in NJ

Harold Brubaker, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Business News

When one of the biggest owners of Pennsylvania nursing homes, Welltower Inc., announced this month that new companies would take over the day-to-day management at 147 nursing homes in 15 states, it was no great surprise.

The nonprofit ProMedica Senior Care, the current operator of the Welltower nursing homes, including 38 in Pennsylvania and seven in New Jersey, has lost massive amounts of money in the last two years, including $316 million in the first nine months of 2022.

What's puzzling to advocates for the elderly and others who closely watch the nursing home industry is that the company Welltower is bringing in to facilitate the shift to new operators is unknown in the world of nursing homes, even to industry veterans.

That could make it harder for nursing home residents and the families to know who is actually in charge of care at the nursing homes, which were long known as ManorCare facilities and cared for nearly 15,000 residents a day in October, according to federal data.

That new company, Integra Health, will lease the facilities from Welltower and then sublet them to regional operators, according to Welltower. Integra's CEO, David Gefner, did not respond to multiple requests for more information on his experience in real estate and health care. Welltower declined to provide details about its dealings with Integra, which is also known as Integra Healthcare Properties.

What's known about Integra

 

Integra was formed this year, according to Gefner's LinkedIn profile. Public records indicate that Gefner is 29 years old. Attempts to reach Gefner at a residential phone listing in Monsey, N.Y., were unsuccessful. A person who answered the phone twice said Gefner was not there and would not take a message.

Gefner's LinkedIn profile also says he founded Perigrove LLC in 2012. The company is described there as "a real estate investment fund with a vertically integrated development arm, positioning the company to create and capitalize on emerging trends across equity sources like sovereign capital, international financing, next-gen currencies and more."

But Perigrove's website provides no information about the company's real estate investments. Gefner did not respond to two voicemails at his Perigrove numbers. Two e-mails to a general address at Perigrove went unanswered.

Gefner said in Welltower's news release announcing the deal that he aims to bring the nursing homes "back to their previous glory."

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