Settlement Reached With County, Aurora Over Citizens & Montevue

The two facilities will remain in county hands.

A settlement has been reached between Frederick County and Aurora Holdings VII, LLC regarding Citizens Care and Rehabilitation and Montevue Assisted Living Centers. During a public information briefing on Wednesday, County Executive Jan Gardner said the two facilities will remain in county hands. The agreements, signed on May 12th, will cover the management of Citizens and Montevue, the sale of Aurora’s business interests in the two centers, and the settlement agreement itself.

“These agreements provide for a smooth and stable transition, to insure that we take care of patients and the residents of  Citizens and Montevue, and they continue to receive quality care, as well to insure that employees will be retained and treated fairly,” says Gardner.

Under the agreement, Aurora will continue to operate the two centers for 18-months, and has guaranteed an annual profit of at least $2.5-million. The company will also be paid by the county a management fee of 4.5% of gross revenues. If Aurora fails to provide the county with the $2.5-million each year in profits, the county may terminate the contract. “This is important because this  in and of itself demonstrates that Citizens can generate a profit, and that money can be used to subsidize the operation of Montevue. So here’s proof, right with these settlement agreements, that that is possible,” says Gardner.

The previous Board of County Commissioners voted in June, 2013, to sell the two centers to Aurora. That decision generated a lot of controversy, and a citizens group sued to block the sale. This settlement ends this lawsuit.

Gardner had made blocking the sale part of her campaign for County Executive in 2014. She says this settlement rescues county taxpayers from a “bad deal.”

“The County will retain ownership of Citizens and Montevue;  will keep the promise to our seniors and our indigent elderly, we’ll honor the deed on the property;  we’ll take care of people, patients and employees alike. The County will pay about half as much as it would have cost if it had sold and moved forward with the sale of Citizens and Montevue,” she said.

No new money will be used to implement the settlement, says Gardner.

In addition to the settlement, Gardner also appointed a new advisory board to work with  the county staff during the transition and to make sure quality patient care remains a priority. Three of the members are former CItizens and Montevue board members: Vincent Parmescano, Sonja Sperling and Charles Trunk. The others are Dr. Joseph Berman, Dr. Eugene Casagrande, Melanie Cox, Carole Grissom, Meg Motter, Cindy Powell and David Schey.