Vermilion County reports will start new discussion on nursing home

Vermilion County reports will start new discussion on nursing home

DANVILLE — Vermilion County officials expect to have new reports in hand next week that will include a financial forecast for the Vermilion Manor Nursing Home that county board members will use to start new discussions about the future of the county-owned nursing home.

Vermilion County Board Chairman Jim McMahon said consultant Mike Harmon with Source 1 Commercial Capital is finishing the financial report on the nursing home, and John Weaver with the Public Building Commission, which oversees operation of two local government-owned buildings, will provide a report on the physical needs of the nursing home.

Members of the county board's executive, legislative and nursing home committees are expected to get their first look at the reports during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex, 6 N. Vermilion St., Danville.

McMahon said the goal is to provide an overall picture of what it will cost the county to continue operating the nursing home on Catlin-Tilton Road west of Tilton.

He said he wants county board members to have solid information about projected costs, revenues, infrastructure needs and more, especially considering the state's financial struggles, but he doesn't want to speculate about where discussions could lead.

When the nursing home has faced financial difficulties in the past and been a financial drain on the county's funds, some board members have suggested closing, selling or leasing the nursing home.

A large chunk of the nursing home's funding comes from state Medicaid reimbursements, and there's been much speculation that the state could cut Medicaid funding.

Joan Darr, administrator at Vermilion Manor, said of the 170 residents at the nursing home, 120 are Medicaid-assisted. And Medicaid pays the majority of the costs associated with those residents, she said.

Darr said she has heard the speculation about Medicaid cuts, but nothing concrete.

"We need it all," she said of the Medicaid funding.

The Civic Federation, a Chicago-based nonpartisan policy group, reported Monday that the state's Medicaid costs will increase by 41 percent in the next five years.

McMahon said the state is in no better shape now than it was last year when Medicaid reimbursement funding was delayed for months, causing a backlog of unpaid bills at the nursing home. McMahon said he's expecting the state to reduce its Medicaid funding.

McMahon said he believes the county has a good nursing home, but the county must be realistic and realize there are going to be immediate bumps ahead and bumps "down the road."

"All we are doing is looking at the situation to see what is the best path to travel," he said.

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