BATAVIA – Changes in staffing at the Genesee County Nursing Home, a multimillion-dollar headache in county funding, have been discussed by committees during the past week, but the County Legislature approved only a few steps at Wednesday’s meeting.
Under one proposal, the medical director at the 160-bed facility would be replaced by a consulting physician, a plan that also would eliminate a second physician. Savings would be near $90,000.
The medical director receives $125,000 a year for a 24-hour work- week. An attending part-time physician is paid $20,000 per year. Some of the savings would be erased by adding a chaplain and a palliative care specialist, part-time positions that the legislators did approve.
They also gave a nod to MDS Consultants for a $143,000 contract for consulting and training services at the home.
The nursing home has sustained operating losses for the past decade. This year’s loss is estimated at more than $4 million. Legislators have made it clear they do not want to close the facility but must find ways to reduce recurring deficits.
The legislators also:
• Approved funding of Mercy Flight with a $14,250 appropriation for the medical emergency transport, which last year airlifted 122 local patients. The Genesee County Agricultural Society will receive $6,214 for 4-H judging and premiums. Both allocations are the same as for this year.
• Renewed a $186,425 contract with Genesee ARC for its food catering and delivery services.
• Renewed its plea to the state for relief from “costly unfunded mandates” with a “Mayday for Mandate Relief” campaign. A growing share of local taxpayer dollars is going to Medicaid and the state retirement system, costs over which counties have no control.