Blaine Manor budget
County nursing home
projects far smaller loss in 2002
Express Staff Writer
expenses by 10 percent and increasing revenues by 11 percent will help
improve the dismal financial record of the county’s only skilled-care
nursing home, says Gail Goglia, the home’s director.
taxpayers subsidizing the home’s loss this year of $649,121, the
facility is in danger of being closed. But Goglia believes those losses
can be reduced by 45 percent next year to $354,321.
proposal was the big news last week, when dozens of county departments
pitched their fiscal year 2002 budget requests to the Blaine County
Commission. Public hearings on the county’s approximately $13 million
tentative overall budget begin in early August with the final budget to be
set in September.
of last week’s preliminary sessions attracted practically no attention
from the public. But on Wednesday afternoon, about 50 people showed up to
voice their support for Blaine Manor and encourage the commission to
approve Goglia’s request.
she projects, the home will earn $1.2 million in revenues from Medicare,
Medicaid and other fees while spending $1.57 million.
bigger revenues, the home’s room rates would increase by 5 percent. The
projected revenue is also based on assumptions that an average of 22
residents will live at the home. That number is slightly higher than the
census of this year when several temporary factors limited new
enrollments, said Goglia. Also assumed is a small, Congress-mandated
increase in the amount of money Blaine Manor gets from Medicare.
Manor’s expenses should decrease in 2002 because the home won’t have
the $100,000 in startup costs it had this year when it separated from St.
Luke’s Wood River Medical Center. Expenses would also be reduced by
rescheduling staff hours and decreasing the level of staff health
presenting those numbers, Goglia told the group, which was packed into the
old Blaine County Courthouse meeting room, "I can assure you
everything we’ve looked at [cutting] will have no impact on the level of
care" at Blaine Manor.
commissioners did not say whether they supported Goglia’s proposal. That
announcement will happen by Aug. 6 when the commission sets the tentative
county budget. Instead, they spoke generally about the home’s future.
Dennis Wright said his mother is 82, so he is sympathetic to the needs of
the elderly. But, he said, taxpayers are being asked to spend too much
money to support the home’s 22 or so residents.
I want you to understand is that’s why some of us have been looking at a
different way," he said.
chair Mary Ann Mix said she is working with a non-profit group to expand
the 25-bed facility to include 30 new assisted-living beds and an
additional five or six skilled-care beds. An expansion could help
finances. But Mix refused to elaborate on the plan, she said, because it
might not work out.
Sarah Michael illustrated the difficulty of the decision the commission
county taxpayers could end up subsidizing each of Blaine Manor’s 22
residents to the tune of $18,000 next year.
general programs do we cut?" she asked. "Because there’s a
finite amount of revenue we collect."
than a dozen members of the public spoke in support of Blaine Manor, an
unidentified man perhaps summed up the group’s overall sentiment:
Blaine County pay taxes to take care of the children so they’ll have an
education," he said. "We should have the same attitude when it
comes to taking care of our elderly."