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April 28, 2010 - 3:56pm

Counties across the state struggling with nursing home issues, NYSAC says

posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, nursing home, NYSAC.

Genesee County isn't the only county in New York struggling with what to do with its nursing home in an era of skyrocketing costs and dwindling resources.

All 36 counties in the state with nursing homes are facing the same issues, according to a press release from the New York State Association of Counties.

“We need to address following questions. Should counties be in the long-term care business? If the answer to that question is yes, then we need to develop funding formulas or financing mechanisms that do not require annual property tax increases to keep them open,” said NYSAC President Tom Santulli.

The NYSAC statement says:

Counties are in a crisis and are confronted with unique challenges with the health and fiscal stability of public nursing homes. Those challenges include complying with the unfunded mandates such as Wicks Law and contributing to growing public employee pension rates and healthcare costs.

To help counties address the issues, NYSAC is hosting a nursing home summit May 25 in Ulster County. The summit will address:

  • Long term care reimbursement and the NYS budget crisis,
  • The current fiscal health of county nursing homes in New York State,
  • Challenges of operating a county-owned nursing facility,
  • Analysis of the state’s population demographics, relative to housing needs, and
  • Alternatives to institutional long-term care including home/community-based alternatives.

The press release concludes:

“County-owned nursing homes are in state of transition. The state’s indecisiveness about the role of counties in long-term care, and their temporary fixes are not solving the problems we are facing. They are Band-Aids but they are not addressing the structural deficiencies,” said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of NYSAC.

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