Wednesday, May 2, 2012

County seeks skilled-nursing providers

Request for information out this week


By KATHERINE WUTZ
Express Staff Writer

Blaine County commissioners will begin scouring the state this week for skilled-nursing providers to offer senior care in the Wood River Valley.

During a commission meeting Tuesday, the board directed County Administrator Derek Voss to send out a request for information to at least the 78 providers in the state. Information sought includes the business plan of the company's existing facilities as well as a plan for a facility in the valley, the type of care the company would provide and a number of quality measures.

A response is due by the end of the month, after which the commissioners will evaluate the forms and decide how to proceed.

"We're looking at a very aggressive timeline, but that's important in order to get this accomplished," Voss said during the meeting.

The companies are also requested to demonstrate how well they can abide by the county's standards for senior care, which include an ability to provide safe and compassionate care for people of a range of ages and socio-economic groups.

Commissioner Larry Schoen suggested that the qualifications for submitting a business plan and other documents should include an assumption that the provider already is operating in Idaho. But Commissioner Angenie McCleary opposed that suggestion, saying it would exclude Croy Canyon Ranch, a proposed nonprofit, tiered-care senior facility proposed for just outside Hailey.

"My understanding was that they would be able to [submit]," she said. "I certainly know that they were discussing it."

Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation will be able to submit information, the commissioners determined.

Schoen said he wished to hear from as many skilled-nursing providers as possible.

"Sometimes people can be deterred," he said. "They think, 'I don't want to come in there because I will be picked on or singled out because I'm a bringer of change.' But change is what we're seeking."

Katherine Wutz:  HYPERLINK "mailto:kwutz@mtexpress.com" kwutz@mtexpress.com




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