BATAVIA –The Genesee County Legislature is taking a new approach – possibly a last-ditch attempt – to determine the future of the nursing home that has cost the county millions of dollars.
Chairman Raymond F. Cianfrini has appointed three committees, each of them with three legislators, in the latest of several studies about the facility’s future.
That future is clouded by Medicaid reimbursement, which is about $100 per patient per day less than the cost to the county. A second problem is that wages and benefits paid to the staff are higher than those paid in the private sector.
The committees will examine the long-term care aspects, the operations and community involvement.
The home has 160 nursing beds and 80 rehabilitation beds and occupancy is generally high.
The county has already defined options that include sale, lease or a partnership. Legislators have repeatedly assured staff, patients and families that the facility will not be closed under any circumstances.
The county has provided care for the elderly and sick since the early 19th century. But it has become expensive. Losses since 2009 total about $17 million, ultimately at taxpayer expense.
Rochester’s Center for Governmental Research, one of the agencies that has studied the problem, estimates that there are 35 county-owned nursing homes in the state and that all are losing money.
According to a news release from Cianfrini, the “overall focus is on the future to preserve the continuity, quality and accessibility of long-term care.”
The committees are expected to take four to five months to complete their work and produce recommendations.