LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Response to Keiro Articles

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Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to J.K. Yamamoto’s two December articles about Keiro Senior HealthCare facilities being acquired by a larger health care organization.

The week before the first article, I attended a National Real Estate Investment Webinar presented by the National Investment Center. It was titled “Seniors Housing Investment Briefing.” It seems that retirement homes, assisted living and nursing homes are in high demand due to an increasing number of institutional investors as well as real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Why?

(1) They make more money, i.e., captures a high-income stream having outperformed other commercial real estate property investments;

(2) Seniors housing and care’s market value is approximately $270 billion and growing;

(3) Three of the 10 largest REITs are now health care REITs;

(4) The seniors housing sector has shown itself to be recession-resilient.

As a Medi-Cal planning attorney, I have been in nursing homes all over Southern California. I’ve been in nursing homes owned and operated by the big institutions. Bottom line? They cut costs to increase profits for their stockholders. But cutting costs will mean cuts in staff and less quality care.

I understand why the Keiro community is concerned. And although it saddens me, I understand that “You gotta do what you gotta do.” What concerns me is the part that said “Miyake predicted that there will be no new developments during the holidays, but next year ‘things will continue to move forward as they do … There’ll be a press release and it’ll say we’ve picked this partner, this is how it’s going to happen, there’s a 90-day escrow …’”

What’s the rush??? You might have to “do what you gotta do,” but you “don’t gotta do it” with the first (or second) organization that comes along wanting to take over. There was no indication in the articles that suggested that Keiro was ready to shut down immediately. Slow down and weigh out your options to find the best guaranteed arrangement for the Nisei community.

J.K.’s article states that Mr. Miyake was told by the larger organization, “Look, we’re going to keep everything together. There’s no reason to pull it apart. What you have works. We will just be ready when it begins to transition into a more diverse type of thing … But until then, we see it just staying the same. We think substantially all your employees will continue to work. Your buildings are full. We don’t want to mess that up. It works.”

PLEASE, PUT IT IN WRITING.

Judd Matsunaga, Esq.

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