BATAVIA – Officials need a transfusion of cash for the ailing Genesee County Nursing Home and its seven-figure annual operating deficit.
County Treasurer Scott D. German has told the Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee that he needs $5.8 million to meet the facility’s expenses in the near future.
This is a second loan this year following a $5 million revenue-anticipation note that is due in November. On the plus side, the county is awaiting past-due Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements of $2.3 million. A consultant has been hired by the Legislature to help with collections and billing.
The 160-bed nursing home, a service the county has provided since the early 19th century, has lost nearly $12 million in the last four years, including a deficit of $3.8 million in 2012.
A major problem is the reimbursement from Medicaid, which is about $100 less per day per patient than the cost of care. A federal intergovernmental transfer program will offset some of the loss, but payments are late, and its future is in doubt amid the national debt crisis.
The problem is not unique to Genesee County. Orleans County is trying to sell “The Villages,” after a $2 million shortfall last year.
The Center for Governmental Research, in Rochester, estimates that about two dozen county-owned nursing homes, most of them upstate, are losing money.
Genesee has repeatedly assured the staff, patients and their families that the home will not be sold. Options are a sale or lease, and negotiations on that could begin this fall.
Meanwhile, the treasurer is borrowing to keep up the cash flow for the nursing home, which offers skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and occupational and physical therapy to county residents.