Blaine Manor will not formally respond to Blaine County's request for business models for skilled-nursing facilities, according to a letter from the organization's board.
"The Blaine Manor Board has resolved not to respond at this time to the Request for Information," states the letter, signed Tuesday by Blaine Manor board Chair Marsha Riemann.
Neither Riemann, fellow board member Linda Haavik or Blaine Manor Administrator Gail Goglia responded to calls from the Idaho Mountain Express to ascertain the board's concerns in this matter.
However, the letter states that the board wishes to provide assistance and advice in the county's evaluation of the responses it receives.
"...[T]he interests of Blaine Manor and nursing home care in the Valley are better served if the Board and Blaine Manor executive team act objectively and cooperatively with the Commissioners to evaluate and consider the proposals," Riemann wrote. "If the Board does not submit a proposal of its own, its advice and counsel to the Commissioners will be, and should be perceived to be, objective and neutral."
Debate over whether Blaine Manor should submit a response to the request for information surfaced during a county commissioners meeting Tuesday. The request for information was sent out by County Administrator Derek Voss earlier this month to skilled-nursing facilities across the state—including Blaine Manor—requesting information such as a business plan for a skilled-nursing facility in Blaine County and the facility's current Medicare rating.
As of Tuesday, Commissioner and Blaine Manor board liaison Angenie McCleary said Blaine Manor had not yet decided whether to submit an official response to the request.
"If they choose not to, they will be submitting materials before the deadline explaining why they are not submitting an RFI," McCleary said.
Her statement was confirmed by the appearance of the letter at the county offices later that day.
Commissioner Tom Bowman said at the time that an explanation would be required if Blaine Manor had decided not to submit the materials requested, especially, he said, because the Blaine Manor board could be viewed as an extension of the Blaine County Board of County Commissioners.
"I would think that if this board wants to see their package, we could ask for it," he said. "But for them to say 'We're not playing at all,' that's going to take some explanation."
Bowman said Thursday that the letter does provide an explanation for the board's refusal to submit the expected response. However, he said he wasn't sure that the board's suggested role in the skilled-nursing process would take the form the manor board envisioned.
"In the context of the letter, it does seem appropriate," he said, but added, "When we meet with them face to face, I think that will be an opportunity for both parties to clarify where they are coming from."
McCleary stated that the letter means Blaine Manor will likely not go forward with its previous proposed expansion, which would have added assisted-living quarters to its existing facility. She added that the expansion of the current building would likely not appear in the response of the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation, which is planning a new facility west of Hailey.
"I still hope that whatever role [the manor board] ends up having in the process, that if they have ideas, those can come forward," McCleary said Thursday. "As for what that role would look like, I don't know."
Katherine Wutz: email@example.com