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Nursing home report paints bleak picture

Maplewood Manor fate yet to be decided while county looks to fill empty beds

Spencer Hellwig, Saratoga County administrator, takes part in the discussion on issues surrounding Maplewood Manor at a meeting of the Saratoga County Public Health Committee on Monday, Sept. 10.

Spencer Hellwig, Saratoga County administrator, takes part in the discussion on issues surrounding Maplewood Manor at a meeting of the Saratoga County Public Health Committee on Monday, Sept. 10. Photo by Julie Cushine-Rigg.

Taxes, layoffs off the table

Hellwig said the report also suggests a tax increase of 20 percent would be needed to cover the $10 million annual loss, or a staff reduction at the home by up to one third, or about 100 employees. He added neither are feasible options.

Committee members are still finding their way through the report, and as such Wright is fielding questions by committee members as they roll in.

“I think we’re still absorbing the information … This is one of the biggest decisions this board will ever make,” said Wright. “When (it) is made, it’s going to be made with as much information as we know.”

Once questions have been brought to the table, the committee will sit down with Harris Beach to discuss the issues before a final decision on the home’s fate is made.

15 percent of beds empty

While a decision on what to do with Maplewood Manor as a whole is pending, Public Health Committee members at a Monday, Sept. 10 meeting discussed a more pressing concern. There are 39 empty beds at the facility, nearly 15 percent of the total capacity.

Diane Brown, an administrator for Maplewood Manor, presented an update to the situation to the committee.

“Since July 1, we’ve only had nine admissions. Our admissions are down 38 percent this year with only 54 admissions year-to-date,” Brown said. She added of those admissions, 35 percent came from other nursing homes, adult homes or private homes and those patients would not meet the criteria for Medicare coverage.

Committee member and Saratoga Springs Supervisor Joanne Yepsen pointed to the recent report on Maplewood Manor, which indicates a more than 200-bed shortage in the county.

“There was a clear need for a Maplewood-type facility in Saratoga County. New York State’s Department of Health has identified a bed need of 1,004, with a current capacity of 789, leaving an unmet need of 215. The assessment also found Maplewood provides quality care to its residents, a fact that was noticeable during a tour of the facility,” reads the report.

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