Inova Health System, the largest employer in Fairfax County, has announced that it is seeking a buyer for both of its long-term care facilities in the county.
According to a June 2 letter to staff at both facilities, Inova is in negotiations with a buyer for the Cameron Glen Care Center and its assisted living unit in Reston, as well as its Commonwealth Care Center in Fairfax. Inova will retain the Inova Loudoun Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Leesburg, which unlike the others is a hospital-based facility.
According to its website, Cameron Glen Care Center is a 240-bed facility providing nursing care, while Commonwealth is described as a 143-bed nursing care facility. Inova has owned the Fairfax County nursing home facilities for more than 20 years.
The Inova letter, obtained by the Times, cites national health care reform, impending capital needs and "one of the most challenging times in our nation's history" as the reasons for considering the sale.
"Inova has found that it cannot continue to efficiently provide a high level of service at these facilities as they are outside its core hospital and health service expertise," the memo states. "Inova believes a new owner, one that specializes in long-term care services, will be able to provide more efficient operations."
Robert Hager, Inova assistant vice president of long-term care, said Monday that the decision was not an easy one.
"When we got into the long-term care market 20 years ago, there were not as many long-term care providers as there are now," he said, adding that the profitability of the two facilities has taken a recent downturn.
"The decision is primarily based on Inova's core service mission," said Tony Raker, director of public relations for Inova. "Specific care considerations associated with long-term care are different from what we provide short-term as a hospital system."
Inova says it is in negotiations with a "reputable long-term care provider" that has signed a letter of intent to purchase the facilities, but has not divulged the identity of the provider. Hager and Raker both denied comment on that point.
"It is like buying a house," said Raker. "The provider has agreed to the purchase in principle, but until it is final, anything could happen."
The June 2 letter states that questions about "staffing, operations and future plans" cannot be answered at this time.
"We are working with the buyer to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for residents," said Hager.