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Wayne Post
  • County opts to explore selling the nursing home

  • Despite efforts by administration and staff to reduce costs and save money at the Wayne County Nursing Home, the Board of Supervisors are seeking professional help to market and possibly sell the facility.

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  • Despite efforts by administration and staff to reduce costs and save money at the Wayne County Nursing Home, the Board of Supervisors are seeking professional help to market and possibly sell the facility.
    At their last meeting, the board approved a resolution “to prepare a Request for Qualifications for professional assistance in marketing and selling the Wayne County Nursing Home.” Not all supervisors were in agreement with resolution. Arcadia Supervisor Dick Colacino said Nursing Home Administrator Margaret Haroff was tasked with finding ways to cut costs at the facility — something she is still working on. Colacino felt the resolution was premature.
    “I want to give them a chance first,” he said. “The administrator does a real good job. They deserve a chance.”
    The county has been subsidizing the nursing home for some time now and anticipates providing $1,522,084 from the general fund to assist the facility for 2013, as well as requiring an estimated $2.9 million in intergovernmental transfer funds (IGT). Without this intergovernmental funding, the county’s subsidy would grow an additional $1.45 million in 2013 for a total allocation of $2,972,084.
    Haroff and Nursing Home Comptroller Judith Seier presented an update of the nursing home’s financial condition, noting that originally county subsidies were necessary for regular operation of the nursing home, but were decreased when revenues increased. However, with reductions in Medicare and Medicaid allocations from the state, county support is becoming a necessity to keep the facility running. Colacino said reimbursement from the state is often not enough and can take up to a year to receive.
    Haroff has been working to reduce county financial support by instituting efforts to reduce operational costs, including the creation of short term rehabilitation beds, saving on energy costs, streamlining the purchasing and prescription ordering systems and decreasing contractual expenses. Haroff told the board the nursing home is now bidding to outsource food, manitenance and cleaning services, all while they have vastly improved quality and cost efficiency for operating the facility by taking part in the Lean Six Sigma Program, a methodology which seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of errors and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. According to Haroff, the highest operation cost at the facility is personnel, which can only be changed through contract negotiations. She has also looked into revenue enhancements with adjusting the billable days of care.
    The board is concerned about the long-term availability of IGT funding as well as long-term impacts of the level of revenues for the nursing home. Although the board recognizes the importance of the staff continuing to work toward bridging the gap between revenues and expenditures, supervisors also expressed the need of the county to explore all their options, including selling the facility.
    Colacino noted that the board has not voted to sell the facility at this time, only to explore the possibility.
    Page 2 of 2 - Opposing the resolution to look into selling the nursing home with a no vote were Colacino, Butler Supervisor Dave Spickerman, Galen Supervisor Steve Groat, Huron Supervisor Laurie Crane, Lyons Supervisor Brian Manktelow, Rose Supervisor Kenan Baldridge and Savannah Supervisor Michael Kolczynski.

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