The Federal Government has put what had been the county’s nursing home on a watch list as one of the most troubled facilities in the nation. In a cost saving move a few years ago, the county sold what had been called Maplewood Manor under the county to Zenith Care Health.
This blog as did others warned at the time of the proposed sale that privatizing the nursing home would, in all likelihood, lead to a deterioration of services. In her excellent column for the Gazette, Sara Foss points out the moral failure of our county whose success should have made possible public investment in the care of our elderly.
The New York Times reported recently about HUD and Medicare’s growing crisis regarding privatized nursing homes. In an attempt to expand care, following the myth that the private sector always does things better, the Federal government began underwriting loans for private companies who wanted to buy nursing homes. The story paints a grim picture of the result. Many of the players either as a result of mismanagement or the exploitation of payments to themselves, have now created a crisis with insolvent nursing homes that have vulnerable patients with no place to go.
The decision by the Board of Supervisors to sell the Maplewood Manor created this problem. There is good reason to worry that the currently named Saratoga Center for Rehab and Skilled Nursing Care may become insolvent.
At a minimum, the Board of Supervisors, as our elected officials should be voicing alarm and meeting with Zenith Health Care and the state to find out just what is going on. If the the facility is in financial jeopardy, they should be evaluating whether they need to be looking into taking it over again.
Matt Veitch was a Saratoga County Supervisor representing Saratoga Springs when the decision was made to sell the manor. He is still our Supervisor. Tara Gaston is currently our Supervisor as well but was not serving on the Board when the decision to sell was made. Both are up for re-election this year.
I would like to offer them both the opportunity to be guest writers on this blog to tell us their thoughts on this matter.
I urge the readers of this blog to take the time to read Ms. Foss’ column.
2 thoughts on “The Disgrace Of What Had Been The County’s Nursing Home: It is time for Matt Veitch and Tara Gaston to speak up”
I challenge those who defend the sell-off of Maplewood manor to explain how such a transaction benefits anyone but the the healthy and weathy.
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Many of us were disappointed when Maplewood Manor was sold by the County Board of Supervisors. Maplewood Manor had a good reputation. It’s employees were devoted to providing care for the facility residents. They were paid a fair wage and, as County employees, enjoyed a reasonable benefit package. All of that changed when ownership of the facility was transferred to the for-profit entity.
The main reason why the County began losing money operating Maplewood Manor and why the for-profit entities are having financial problems is because Medicaid rates have not kept up with the cost of doing business. This is true of Medicaid nursing home rates of reimbursement, medical care rates, dental care rates, ambulance rates, etc. When Medicaid rates were established in the mid sixties, they were based on what were then considered fair rates of reimbursement. Unfortunately, rates were not increased over time as they should have been.
Most long-term nursing home patients become covered by Medicaid after they quickly burn through their private assets. Had Medicaid reimbursement rates kept up with the cost of operations, Maplewood Manor would not have become a financial drain on the County.
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