MEMORIAL MED MULLS NURSING HOME OPTIONS
Monday, January 7th, 2008 -- 12:22 pm
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director
Despite rumors to the contrary, Memorial Medical Center's Health and Rehab facility is not on the chopping block, but officials say changes need to be made.
Once a moneymaker, the long-term care facility has been losing money for some time due to Medicaid reimbursements that don't come close to covering the actual cost to care for residents.
"Our Medicaid population here is pretty high and we lose money quite a bit of dollars everyday on a Medicare person," explains Memorial Medical Center Administrator Scott Polenz, "We just can't sustain that if we want to grow other parts of our business, too."
The facility—which used to be referred to as a nursing home—is licensed for 99 residents; there are currently around 85 beds filled.
Officials are in the process of evaluating the future direction and services at the facility, and are looking for input from the community—but they are not considering closing the facility.
"That is not an option and all. It is such a need in our area. There is no other option for long-term care, nursing home," Pollenz assures. "We are definitely not going to close. We just want the community to know the challenges that we have and help whatever we decide to do in the future."
Options will include trying to increase public awareness and use of home health care services. That could keep people home longer.
But they may also look to add assisted living services as well. Assisted living is a less-regulated, glorified apartment setting for those that may still desire a certain level of independence, but not want to live on their own anymore.
"We have the room to potentially implement some assisted living rooms. I think that could be really neat for this community," Pollenz notes.
Memorial Medical Center would have some built-in advantages over other assisted living facilities. "We could provide a really good service there, we have the (doctors) right here, as opposed to being off-site some place."
And another benefit to Memorial Medical Center: assist living residents pay "out of pocket".
Officials will a couple meeting on the topic:
Tuesday, January 15 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, January 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Both meeting will be in the Manz Conference Room at Memorial Medical Center.
Pollenz says the public's input and ideas will be important to how they move forward.
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