Nursing home manager: Census up, losses down, new services on way

Nursing home manager: Census up, losses down, new services on way

URBANA — The census is up and net losses are down at the Champaign County Nursing Home, the facility's new manager said Monday.

And more improvements are coming, promised Suzanne Koenig, the president of SAK Management Services, which took over the day-to-day operations of the troubled nursing home on July 1.

The average daily census in October was 136, up from 132 in September and August. Monthly net losses have dropped from almost $170,000 in July to $123,000 in September.

And the facility is about to add pulmonary and dental services, a University of Illinois class hopes to develop a marketing plan for it and an art show will be held at the home in February.

"There are little things in the road here and there, but what's really exciting is that the census is going up, and we have great relations with hospitals," Koenig told the nursing home's board of directors Monday. "And I think the census will start moving up on a consistent basis."

The dental services will begin Jan. 1, she said.

"Right now, we have these beautiful dental facilities, but they've never had a dentist. We contracted with a dentist," Koenig said. "There's no other nursing home that has that."

Even so, the nursing home is operating at less than 60 percent capacity. And it owes $4.6 million to vendors and lenders, including the county government, according to a Nov. 8 report by County Auditor John Farney.

But Koenig told the nursing home board that the operators of several private homes in Illinois recently declared bankruptcy. Until recently, the county board had considered selling the home to a private operator.

"That's the whole point. The private facilities are not doing great," she said. "I don't know that they'd be interested. Right now, this facility is so large.

"And there's a lot of community support now. Once a facility goes private, the community support is not the same because if it's a not-for-profit, everyone wraps themselves around it. It's the county, it's Champaign and we all want to support it. But once a private operator gets it, why would anybody want to help it? I just think that as a county facility, this facility has tremendous opportunities if it's managed correctly."

With the sale of the nursing home off the table at least temporarily, Koenig said that employee turnover has eased.

"Staff was afraid that it was closing. Everybody was so afraid. The residents were afraid," she said, "Now, I think everybody feels a little different."

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Citizen1 wrote on November 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

Nursing home is sucking the county dry.  Taxpayers said sell.  Sell it.

rsp wrote on November 14, 2017 at 10:11 am

I think you misunderstood the question. It gave permission to sell but it did not require a sell.

Citizen1 wrote on November 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

What does it take to get through to the board?   Total financial disaster?

EdRyan wrote on November 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

There are a number of reasons why a private nursing home could be in bankruptcy, legal action resulting in large liability would be high on the list.  Private nursing homes often use a credit line to manage cash flow in light of slow Medicaid payments by Illinois.  If the nursing home has trouble expanding or refinaning a credit line, they could end up in bankruptcy.  The nursing home could still be attractive to a buyer with better management and/or deeper pockets.  Demand for nursing home beds is on the increase, and the number of beds available is limited.

aantulov wrote on November 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm

The governor is holding up medicaid payments. Holding them for ransome to kill places like the nursing home as they did the Burnham City of Champaign hospital where you could go without financing the owners of Carles trips to the Caymans Islands to hide money from uncle sam.

You can do a great deal beside vote, and call, you can join with those like minded and hold them accountable.