URBANA — The nursing home board of directors Monday approved another red-ink budget for the year beginning Dec. 1 and sent it to the Champaign County Board.
The budget shows a net loss of $99,000, although that is an improvement from an anticipated loss of $138,000 this year, according to Scott Gima, manager of the nursing home.
"This budget is very doable," said Gima.
But without the addition of a renal dialysis program at the nursing home — an initiative that still must be approved by the county board — the nursing home is projected to lose nearly $500,000, according to Gima's estimates.
The dialysis program will require a capital investment of as much as $300,000, but it is estimated that it will increase the nursing home's census, particularly among Medicare-pay clients.
The budget also assumes a new respiratory therapy program at the nursing home that would increase operating expenses but pay for itself with more Medicare patients.
"The hope is that the cost will be offset by an increase in census," Gima said.
In a summary of the budget proposal, Gima wrote that overall projections for 2013 assume what he called a "modest increase" in the home's Medicare census.
"The concern is the current Medicare census has been stagnant in the low teens. The implementation of the renal dialysis and respiratory therapy programs should have a significant impact on Medicare and overall census," he wrote.
The fiscal year 2013 budget assumes a 5 percent rate increase for private pay clients and a 1.8 percent increase for Medicare patients. There will be no change in Medicaid rates next year, Gima said.
On the expense side, health insurance costs were projected to increase 10 percent, wages would be up 1 percent, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund costs would increase 2.8 percent and non-labor expenses would increase 1 percent.
Meanwhile, three county board members appeared at the nursing home board meeting and offered three different pieces of advice. The counsel followed a county board decision earlier this month not to place two referendums on the Nov. 6 ballot. One would have permitted a property tax increase for the nursing home; the other would ask voters for permission to sell it.
Champaign Democrat Pattsi Petrie suggested that the nursing home board should schedule a study session with the county board to review the nursing home's operation "and to enlighten the community on all the surrounding issues."
Champaign Democrat Alan Kurtz praised the board for its work and encouraged it to keep the county board informed.
"I don't want us to be micromanaging this board or this nursing home," said Kurtz.
But Mahomet Republican Gary Maxwell urged the nursing home board to be forthright with the county board and the public.
"I want to know the good and the bad," he said. "Right now, I'm only getting the good. I want a clear picture."
Also Monday, Gima said that the nursing home census had climbed to 213 last week and was at its highest level since early 2010.
"Can I tell you it will continue at this level? No," he said.