Owning Nursing Homes

92% of county-owned nursing homes outside New York City lost money in 2010 and are struggling to survive, a report uncovered. Counties have been looking to leave the nursing-home business as expenses rise and as they face fiscal demands from flat tax earnings to pay for government operations. The report from the Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research said 33 areas own nursing homes, down from 40 in 1997. Eight, including Rockland County, are in the process of selling their features and five plan to put them on the block.

The New York State Health Foundation, a private Albany-based group, requested the research. “In the past few years, six areas have marketed or closed their houses, with mixed results ranging from improvements in proper care expressing closing of one poorly performing house,” said Donald Pryor, the study’s author, said in a statement. “Other areas have kept their houses but are dealing with an increasingly rugged landscape.” Counties traditionally considered running an elderly care service as a way to take care of its elderly, particularly those who are poor. Yet at a time of cost constraints, counties are finding the mission affected as more private houses are built.

Nursing-HomesWestchester County marketed its elderly care service to the Westchester County Nursing Center and the service was closed in 2009. Dutchess County sold its elderly care service in 1998. Monroe County has struggled with growing expenses of its nursing home and in Albany County; there has been a delivered debate about whether to sell its service. Broome and Chemung counties also own nursing homes. The troubles are expected to grow as the population ages, the research discovered. In the upstate areas with assisted living features, there will be 180,000 more residents older than 75 by 2030. The research said wages grew at all assisted living features 37 % since 2001 and were up 45 % at county houses.

While county houses are about 8 % of all assisted living features in the state, they represent about 11 % of all the beds in the state because they are among the state’s largest facilities. Many of the patients rely on State Medicaid programs, yet the payments haven’t kept up with the expenses by as much as $100 a day, the review said. State Medicaid programs represented 71 % of county-owned homes’ revenue in 20130, in comparison to 55 % for other houses. County assisted living features reported a lack of $201 million in 2010, double the decrease in comparison to 2005, the review said.

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