The nursing home saga continues

New county exec. pushes for change, but disagreements persist

— “We’re spending so much money on that small population and I’m OK with that because I think we do have an obligation to our seniors but we have to service all 45,000 seniors and try to keep seniors longer in their house,” said McCoy.

Morse said the plan to build a new nursing home will allow the county to serve a larger chunk of that senior population, most of whom are “poor, underinsured” or have health conditions that require expensive care.

“It is incumbent upon us to make sure those people have the absolute best care we can possibly give them and that they deserve. In doing that, we need to make sure it’s done with a sense of understanding of who pays for the nursing home, which is taxpayers, and figuring out ways to offset the cost to the taxpayer,” said Morse. “We believe that having a nursing home that is the right size, that has the right size staff, that has ancillary services surrounding the nursing home on a campus-style setting, we’d be able to reduce the cost, create additional revenues to further reduce the cost and have a facility we can all be proud of.”

McCoy said his other three options shouldn’t be discarded. Switching to private management would bring county costs down and the county would remain the owner. A public benefit corporation option would see the nursing home manage itself with some oversight from the Legislature and essentially taking the county’s control away in terms of hiring or firing. The fourth option would be to privatize it entirely.

“What people don’t realize is if we close it down today, it would take two years for us to see any financial impact from the nursing home closing,” said McCoy.

Morse doesn’t see any option working outside of keeping the nursing home publically owned and run.

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