Pittsburgh Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to close its doors; 140 residents affected

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Some 140 residents will need to find alternate lodgings this August after a nursing home in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood shuts down for good.

Pittsburgh Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located at 550 South Negley Ave., will close Aug. 12, according to an announcement sent out to residents and their families by administrator Christine Williams on Wednesday.

The nursing home, owned by Genesis Healthcare, blamed declining reimbursement rates, delays in receiving Medicaid funding, inflation and regulatory requirements for the closure.

Genesis acquired the nursing home 15 months ago.

According to the letter, 140 patients and residents and 137 employees will be impacted.

“Our primary concern amidst this decision is the well-being of our residents,” said Kelly C. Tripp, vice president and deputy general counsel with Genesis Administrative Services, in a letter submitted to the state. “We understand the disruption and uncertainty that this closure may cause them and their loved ones.”

The home plans to work with residents to identify other affiliated locations that can accommodate them.

It will host information sessions on June 4 at noon and June 6 at 4:30 p.m. to answer questions.

Employees will be offered other positions at Genesis’s other facilities within the area, according to Johnny Patterson, vice president of government relations for Genesis.

The letter to residents listed Shadyside Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Greentree Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, North Hills Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Whitehall Borough Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Bethel Park Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Monroeville Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and Bridgeville Rehabilitation & Care Center as affiliated locations in the area.

“You have our assurance that we will continue our day-to-day care and operations during this process until our last patient or resident is transferred and the center is closed,” Williams’ letter stated.

“We will work with you to find a facility that best meets your needs and take all reasonable precautions to make the transfer as smooth as possible.”

Part of a pattern?

Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes, said the closure represents a continuing, troubling trend for long-term care statewide.

He pointed to the recent announcement of another nursing home closure, that of Vincentian Marian Manor in Pittsburgh’s Banksville neighborhood, as part of the pattern.

“This will be the second skilled nursing facility closure to take place in Pittsburgh this summer. In a matter of just a few short weeks, nearly 200 residents will lose the home where they have been cared for and will be forced to — hopefully — transition to another facility nearby,” he said.

Shamberg pointed to what he called low reimbursements from Medicaid programs as a problem for many homes.

He also argued that recent state and federal staffing requirements for nursing homes are unattainable because of a shortage of workers, as well as a lack of additional funding to support competitive wages to recruit more staff.

Administrators, elder advocates and nurses all have mixed opinions about the new policies, which set mandatory staffing ratios for nurses in long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

“If Pennsylvania values the care of its fast growing demographic, our elected leaders will make funding for nursing care a priority in this year’s budget,” he said.

Julia Maruca is a TribLive reporter covering health and the Greensburg and Hempfield areas. She joined the Trib in 2022 after working at the Butler Eagle covering southwestern Butler County. She can be reached at [email protected].

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