Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

County Nursing Home Director says there is progress in cost cutting

Marjorie Haroff, Administrator for the Wayne County Nursing home came to the regular Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday to plead her case for not selling the County Nursing Home.

With a resolution on the agenda for the Supervisors to “issue a request for qualifications for professional assistance in marking and selling the County Nursing Home”, Haroff presented her latest Financial Analysis and progress report.

Board of Supervisors move ahead with finding professional assistance in marketing and selling
of the facility

The reason for the resolution for assistance in marketing and selling the Nursing Home came after reviewing the long-term financial outlook of the Nursing Home. At a Finance Committee Meeting in November, it was learned that the County would need to provide $1,522,084 in General Fund assistance in 2013 in order to provide direct subsidy to the Nursing Home and to facilitate the county’s share of accessing the estimated $2.9 million in IGTs (Intergovernmental Transfer Funds.) Without IGT funding in 2013, the county subsidy would grow to an additional $1.45 million for a total allocation in 2013 of $2,972,084. The committee felt that long term availability of IGT funds is in question.

“Wayne County has provided care in an ever-changing world,” began Haroff.

In giving a bit of historical reference, she stated that, since 1830, Wayne County Nursing Home has provided services to residents in need. The Board of Supervisors provides a subsidy to make up for the non Medicaid reimbursement costs.

In 2005, to provide some incentives in revenue, 24 beds of the Home were designated for Rehab patients at a higher reimbursement. With the state’s financial condition requiring cutbacks, and 75% of the residents of the Nursing Home being subsidized by Medicaid, the dwindling reimbursements are hurting.

As of 2011, IGTs awarded to all public nursing homes accounted for about $3 million in revenues, 48% of the remaining costs are subsidized by the County government and the rest from the State.

The Nursing Home has made strides in cutting expenses, according to Haroff. She reported that 43% of total expenses come from Wages, and that Contractual expenses account for 27%. Fringe Benefits, she added, have increased from 22% to 23% of total expenses.

How has the Home attempted to reduce labor costs? They have instituted reductions in overtime, instituted minimum staffing levels, and outsourced ancillary staff (Food Service and Housekeeping), Marge reported.

“Our reductions, included in the 2013 budget, have accounted for $550,000 in savings. We are also working on future cost reductions through negotiations on salaries, work schedule (days off) and engery service reductions — and we have proposed more reductions.”

She also told the Board of Supervisors that, although the Nursing Home has even raised the daily rates on beds, the State continues to cap the daily rates for reimbursement.

Haroff reported that the Nursing Home is currently at 98% capacity (approximately 190 beds).

In conclusion of her financial presentation, Marge stated: “We want to and are trying to operate the Nursing Home with no county subsidy at some point. We respectfully ask that the Board table the resolution to seek to sell the Home to the private sector. Give us time for our projects to conclude.” “We are committed to being the safety net for skilled care in Wayne County.”

Following Marge’s presentation, several Supervisor quizzed the Administrator.

Walworth Supervisor Bob Plant wanted to know if the 480 days per month projection for rehab beds had been met. “We have met and exceeded that goal,” she replied.

Rose Supervisor Kenan Baldridge asked, “If you were able to raise that to 500 billable rehab beds, would you break even?
“We are getting closer to that number,” she said. “We would be able to possibly break even then for Rehab, but no, not Overall.”

She explained also that potential rehabilitation patients do not always choose the Wayne County Nursing Home for their care, based on their doctor’s recommendations or personal choices. Supervisor Plant also mentioned that short term rehab helps to upset the long term rehab patient numbers and “we lose there.”

In a long roll, a motion to table the vote failed. Voting to table it were: Supervisors Spickerman of Butler, Groat of Galen, Manktelow of Lyons, Crane of Huron, Baldridge of Rose, Kolczynski of Savannah and Colacino of Arcadia.

When the vote to begin the process of marketing and selling the Nursing Home was called, the nay-sayers were the same. The resolution passed by simple majority. Voting yes were: Supervisors Plant of Walworth, Park of Wolcott, Hammond of Macedon, Miller of Palmyra, Bender of Marion, LeRoy of Sodus, Kelsch of Ontario, Hoffman of Williamson.