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 Providers Should ‘Take a Look’ At Refinancing, AHCA Leader Urges

Providers “ought to take a look” at refinancing their buildings, one of the nation’s leading long term care advocates says.

Mark Parkinson, president and chief executive officer of the American Health Care Association, says he’s not sure how much longer interest rates will be so favorable and that providers could save a lot of money if they refinance properly.

“Regardless of what your financing is, if you haven’t refinanced in the last couple of years, you really ought to take a look at it,” he says. Parkinson is a former skilled nursing center operator as well as former governor of Kansas.

“I’ve had members tell me that they have managed the impact of state and federal budget cuts by refinancing their debt and really harness their resources,” he says.

Many analysts agree.

“We’re anticipating rates to drop slightly over the next couple of weeks, but again, none of us has a crystal ball,” says Dan Biron, senior vice president of Berkadia, a company that helps providers obtain financing through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “It’s still a very, very attractive interest rate right now.”

HUD is one of the many vehicles for financing, but all lenders appear to be willing to be flexible with providers, experts say.

For instance, HUD is now willing to work with providers to refinance even if they’ve recently done so and are in the so-called “lock out” period of their loans, Biron says.

And lenders have streamlined their reviews so that financing can go through in a matter of weeks or months, experts say. A handful of states measure mortgages when considering reimbursement, though, so it’s important to talk carefully with lenders, Biron and others say.

“You can control the cost, but at the end of the day, there’s still a lot of savings,” he says.
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