URBANA — Private pay room rates and the cost of other services at the Champaign County Nursing Home would increase by 5 percent on Dec. 1, under a proposal unanimously approved by the nursing home's board of directors Monday night.
The increase also needs the approval of the county board.
If approved, it would be the third 5 percent increase in the last three years. About 35 percent of the nursing home's patients so far this year have been private pay, although that figure was up to 40 percent last month.
Board member Gary Maxwell, who also is a Republican member of the county board, said he was concerned about three consecutive rate increases, although he noted that the rates are "in line with the competition for the most part."
Rates for Medicare patients are to increase by 1.8 percent in October, and Medicaid rates are projected to increase a similar amount next year.
Even with the increases, the nursing home is projected to lose money next year, ending the year with a fund balance of about $500,000.
The board also approved four capital projects at the nursing home for the year beginning Dec. 1: $75,000 for an electronic health records system, $50,000 for adult day care outpatient rehabilitation equipment, $50,000 for a dryer lint removal system, and $50,000 for equipment that would keep meals at proper temperatures as they are delivered from the kitchen to dining rooms.
The proposed budget is based on an average daily census of 195. So far this year, however, the facility's daily census has averaged 187 patients. It was 182.3 in July.
Nursing home manager Scott Gima noted Monday that admissions to the institution have been strong in recent months — as high as 39 in June, up from 19 in March — but that discharges also have been above normal.
"The biggest problem we have right now is that we're sending too many people home, if you want to call that a problem," he said.
Under the proposed increases, private pay skilled nursing care rates will be $184.11 per day, dementia care will be $212.78 a day and advanced dementia care will be $227.11 daily.
Those with a private suite will pay an extra $44.10 a day.
Adult day care services will cost $78.27 a day, half-day adult day services will be $51.81 a day and adult day transportation will be $10.50 one way.
The nursing home board also approved a 1 percent pay raise for non-union employees, beginning Dec. 1.