DANVILLE — The Vermilion Manor Nursing Home got a $750,000 check Wednesday from the state to cover its July, August and September Medicaid costs, but it still won't be enough to pay all the facility's outstanding bills and payroll next week, according to Vermilion County Board Chairman Jim McMahon.
"All this does is make us get through this time period," said McMahon, who plans to ask the Vermilion County Board's finance committee on Monday to loan the nursing home money for 90 days.
He said it has been a lot of prayers and support from all levels, including local government representatives, that has helped the nursing home secure the $750,000 check from the state. Without it, he said, the nursing home was not going to be able to pay "a lot of things."
But even with it, the nursing home is not out of the financial trouble that began this summer when the state informed the facility, and other county-owned facilities, that it would be reimbursing them its Medicaid costs at least 120 days after they provide the services rather than the usual 30 days. That has caused a severe cash crunch for the county-owned nursing home on Catlin-Tilton Road.
McMahon said he would not consider a 90-day loan to the nursing home, regardless of how badly it's needed, if it weren't for the fact that the county just received $572,000 as part of its road agreement with Chicago-based Invenergy for the 104-turbine wind farm that will soon be built in western Vermilion County (another 30 turbines will be constructed in Champaign County).
McMahon said he's willing to loan that money to the nursing home for 90 days, because that money, which is intended for maintenance and improvements to roads that will be used during construction of the wind farm, will not have to be used this winter.
McMahon will be proposing the loan to the county board's finance committee during a meeting at 5:15 p.m. Monday in the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex, 6 N. Vermilion St., Danville.
In the last two weeks, McMahon said, the nursing home was able to get state officials to put it back on a 45-day Medicaid reimbursement payment cycle rather than the 120-day cycle that it's currently on. McMahon said the facility was able to persuade the state to shorten the cycle because about 80 percent of Vermilion Manor's residents are Medicaid clients.
McMahon said that with the $750,000 the county just received from the state and the $572,000 loan, the facility would have the money to pay all its vendors through the end of the year and by then would be back on a 45-day cycle and should be able to meet payroll and other costs from then on — if administration is careful with expenses and day-to-day labor costs.