URBANA — Long-delayed payments from the state and federal governments have eased finances at the Champaign County Nursing Home, but there's still a need for access to cash, the manager of the home said Monday.
Unpaid bills at the county-run nursing home dropped from $3.6 million on Nov. 30 to $1.5 million on Dec. 31, nursing home manager Michael Scavotto told the county's nursing home board. The improvement was mainly because of a $1.9 million federal intergovernmental transfer to the home, plus nearly $900,000 in overdue state Medicaid payments dating back to last July.
But Scavotto said more severe Medicaid payment delays could lie ahead.
"It looks like we're going to continue to get regular Medicaid payments through June," he said. "What we're hearing, though, is that we should anticipate another slowdown, probably a longer slowdown, when the state's new fiscal year begins (on July 1)."
Before that time, he said he hopes the nursing home is able to issue revenue anticipation notes (much like a line of credit) through a local bank or get a commitment from the state that Medicaid payments to the state's 26 county-operated nursing home get a top priority.
"To me we need to keep pushing this until we close in on either a political solution or a financial solution," Scavotto said. "It's pretty clear to me that if we don't get access to financing our accounts payable is going to right back up."
Scavotto said preliminary estimates are that the nursing home finished fiscal year 2011 in the black, but not by much, about $62,000. That was a drop from an approximately $200,000 profit a year earlier.
Also, he said that the home's average daily census in December was 199.8, above its census target of 195 and a slight improvement from December 2010.