Local News: ‘We are not closing,’ declares Long-Term Care Board (1/7/22)


Nevada City Council member Carol Gallagher (standing at left) speaks to Long-Term Care Board members during a combined work session Thursday evening. “The Long-Term Care Board is up against a wall and I understand that,” stated Gallagher. “There will be tough decisions, and I also understand that. I just want to really encourage you all to think about what is the best way to get to that final decision.”

Photo by Sarah Haney | Daily Mail Editor

The Nevada City Council met for a work session in conjunction with the City’s Long-Term Care Board Thursday evening to discuss goals and planning for Barone Alzheimer’s and Moore-Few Care Centers going forward.

With many individuals receiving calls on Nov. 8, 2021, about the potential closing and moving of their family members at Barone Alzheimer’s Care Center to a different facility, a public forum was held Nov. 9, 2021, at the Franklin P. Norman City/County Community Center to address the concerns of the community at large.

At that time (Nov. 9), Long-Term Care Board President Judy Campbell noted, “Barone Care Center will likely be closed and current residents will be transferred to an appropriate facility due to significant current and ongoing environmental and financial issues.”

In a change of dialogue from what was originally stated at that public forum, newly appointed LTC board member Tim Wells declared, “We are not closing” at last night’s work session.

The work session between the LTC board and the Nevada City Council was implemented to discuss goals and avenues that can be taken in regards to keeping both Barone Alzheimer’s and Moore-Few Care Centers open and successful.

“It felt like, before, a decision had been made and we were rushing to it,” stated Nevada City Council member Carol Gallagher in regards to the original Nov. 9 meeting. “I really would like to see the Long-Term Care Board be very deliberate and very intentional. I understand that time is an issue and time should not dictate the outcome.”

Gallagher went on to recommend that the LTC board do a stakeholder analysis. “What are your stakeholders telling you?” asked Gallagher. “I think after that meeting, you got a lot of feedback from your stakeholders. And I think that was very valid feedback.”

Some of the goals needing to be worked on, according to the LTC board, include employee retention, marketing and problem-solving the financial issues.

Since the Nov. 9, 2021, public forum, the LTC board has been almost entirely restructured with new members (with the exception of President Judy Campbell, who remains). New appointments to the board included Tim Wells, Bill Kohler, and Linda Douglas.

City council member Kendall Vickers brought up the concern of cash flow with the LTC board. “If things keep going like they did the previous three months, then when will we run out of money?” asked Vickers. “I’m concerned that the process not run us off a cliff. The information I’d like to get back is what are your month-to-month or last three months’ income statements; what is your cash flow available and at the present rate, when will that run out?”

Vickers also noted that cash flow can’t be improved without raising census.

The issue of cash flow then brought up the financial relationship between the LTC board and Nevada Regional Medical Center.

“How does the city feel about Long-Term Care not paying for all these charges from the hospital every month when the hospital owes Long-Term Care over $2.6 million?” asked LTC board member Bill Kohler. “We’re paying the hospital $118,000 to $120,000 a month. Why the heck are we signing money over to the hospital when they’re sitting on $5 million of COVID money, I found out.”

Clarifying these numbers, City Treasurer Bill Denman noted, “Actually I think those hospital charges are anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 a month,” stated Denman. “It’s big dollars. The combined organizations are losing about $150,000 to $200,000 a month. So, to your question about cash flow — now you’re down to about a negative $50,000 cash flow a month. These organizations have always, with the exception of the last few years, produced positive cash flow. In fact, if it weren’t for Long-Term Care, there wouldn’t be a hospital.”

Denman continued, “That is an issue for Long-Term Care to put a message out there that everybody is committed to this to make it work — what we got to have is breathing room. Now, Long-Term Care gave hospital breathing room to the tune of $1.6 million raw cash and a building out there for another $1 million.”

Some possible solutions or avenues of progress the LTC board discussed with the council included grant writing, a sales tax, exploring COVID funding possibilities, incentive pay for employees, and exploring options for marketing.

In regards to rumors of closure of Barone Alzheimer’s Care Center, LTC board member Wells cleared up the matter. “That’s not our focus at all,” he stated. “We’re trying to keep the thing open and we’re going to.”

Marie McCullough also noted that Moore-Few should not be slighted in their ability to care with individuals with dementia. “That’s not our area of expertise, but we certainly can take care of them and do so very well.”

The meeting adjourned with those in attendance looking to work on a strategic plan and find solutions.

Read future editions of the Nevada Daily Mail for more information on this developing story. The Long-Term Care Board is scheduled to meet in regular session on Wednesday, Jan. 26.



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