Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Three Counties Consider Selling Nursing Homes

Gracedale Gazebo
Blair, Centre and Beaver Counties are all thinking about getting out of the nursing home business. Blair County is poised to sell this week, Centre County is spinning their home off as a not-for profit, and Beaver County has begun exploring options.

Dr. Stuart Shapiro, President of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, has stated that privatization has, in virtually all cases, improved the quality of care for residents. This is because private sector companies can afford to make capital improvements, unlike cash-strapped counties.

Northampton County's nursing home, Gracedale, post-referendum, is now rated by Medicare at just two stars, which is "below average" and lower than the "average" rating it had pre-referendum,. Inspections reveal that the facility has failed to ensure that doctor's orders are followed; has failed to notify doctors of adverse changes in residents' medical conditions; ad has failed to resolve some resident grievances. I will acknowledge that Gracedale staff really do care about the residents and will often volunteer their own time and money to make their lives more comfortable. I saw that myself last year during Family Fest.

In contrast to Gracedale, Lehigh County nursing home Cedarbrook has a rating of four stars, which is "above average."

Updated 9:40 AM:  A private buyer was selected in Blair County yesterday.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep selling that Stoffa/Callahan bullshit. If Lehigh County can get that rating so can Gracedale. Before Stoffa and his cronies started to sabotage the Home and run it into the ground, it made money and had a high rating.

Try as you might, you and your new patron will not destroy what the peole have avowed to save.

Why not tell us again about the advantages of an unneeded overpriced Human Services building in the middle of an Industrial Park. You know, the one that will drain program money in order to put cash in Mr. Mohr's developesr buddy's pocket.

Anonymous said...

This facility is run by an outside organization Not the county employees as it was in the past. Your overview is not a good sign of a job well done by this outside organization. Tell me again how they were to improve services and care at Gracedale. Isn't Cedarbrook run by the County and not an outside management team?

Anonymous said...

"Keep selling that Stoffa/Callahan bullshit"

keep pushing that bullshit. are you really such a simpleton, that you believe that by attaching Callahan's name to Stoffa's by a "/", you can somehow spread the lie that Callahan's anti-gracedale?

people aren't that stupid. but keep trying.

Anonymous said...

Below average again. The county's elderly are stacked like cord wood and subjected to terrible conditions at the sunset of their lives because we're propping up a union jobs program. The only consolation is that Barron's granny is receiving substandard treatment in payment for the sin of raising such a piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

I think Councy Solicitors should look into this very poor rating. With scores like this why are they paying a mgmt firm? Wait till Barron hears about this news and the rev. Will they be asking for heads to roll now???

I would think that if you hea nothing from the two you will truly know their motives.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point 657.

Anonymous said...

Biggest problem there is the union--get rid of the union and watch how fast the place will improve. The outside management firm is handicaped by the likes of the fake rev and his cronies. Sell the place and watch how fast it improves without the union there.

Anonymous said...

8:52 hit the nail on the head. Without the union involved employees would be more productive and Gracedale could potentially break even or make a profit.

Anonymous said...

it's always the unions fault!! Boy have you got that wrong. the union gave back 3 million dollars (which the employees cant afford) What has management done to improve the situtation? NOTHING!!! maybe they should get rid of Premier health care and go back to county management!! STOP BLAMING THE UNIONS!!! ps: i am not an employee at the county home!!!!

Anonymous said...

The key question is, "is nursing home care a vital activity for the county"? It's not there primarily to provide jobs in government.

Alot of good things to do and no way can they all be funded. I suspect the decision should be based on the best use of limited funds. An activity that can be handled effectivly in the non-government world should not be a county priority. Lot's of good private care homes.

County government should be focused mostly on judicial/law enforcement activities.A few special activities like voting are government prioities as well.

Do fewer things well rather than under fund too many activities.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Keep selling that Stoffa/Callahan bullshit. If Lehigh County can get that rating so can Gracedale."

I know it disturbs you, but i am simply telling the truth. People have a right to know that three counties are considering the sale of their public nursing home, and that one has been sold.

They also have a right to know that, despite an advisory board and the claims by Councilman Werner that things are looking up, the ratings have gone down.

Things are going in the wrong direction.

People look at those ratings when they decide where to send their loved ones.

Rather than screaming at Stoffa or falsely tagging Stoffa, where exactly have you been while the ratings have gone down, and what are you doing to revere that?

Bernie O'Hare said...

" the union gave back 3 million dollars (which the employees cant afford) What has management done to improve the situtation? NOTHING!!!"


Unions did give back $2.5 - $3 million and deserve credit for making an effort. Management hired a new administrator who undertook an exhaustive study and made recommendations to council. I believe most were accepted. An advisory board was formed. Things are still going south, it seems. That rating might be unrealistic, but unfortunately, many people look at it when they are looking for a home. Why stay in a 2-star home when you can stay in a 4?

Anonymous said...

When is five years up? This place has to be sold; if not for the obvious economic reasons, at least for the sake of better care for the county's elderly. What an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

I still can't get over these ridiculous arguments. Not one person has offered a comment on this BLOG about the 30 million dollars we spend at the prison to house the scut and scum of the earth. Not one person has railed about the Court system that costs us 100 million per year to operate. The county sticks millions into mental health programs and millions into Children and youth programs. This is the business of the County. If not for these programs, the County has no reasson to be in existence. The state mandates all these programs except the Elderly Nursing Home. Who deserves the attention more? The criminals in the prison, the Criminals in the Court System, or the elderly in our Nursing home. The County is trying to fix the problems at Gracedale. The least we can do is give them time. At the end of the fourth year, we can start to evaluate the situation and then make our decision.

Anonymous said...

The other counties have one or two hundred bed facilites and do not make up a large number of the beds available. Grcedale makes up a third of the local beds available.

Stoffa spent years running the place into the ground to sell it, now it is trying hard at coming back. No one trusts Stoffa Admisntratio , so this year is a wash out.

Next years with a new Adminstration and a new County Council Gracedale can get a fresh and unbiased view on how to make it the stellar home it was before Stoffa/Marcus decided to destroy the place.

We all know O'Hares push on this topic. We need better people in office wihtout the agenda Stoffa had to dump the Home in order to pay off the swaption he screwed up and his unneeded Huamn Sertvies builidng he wants his name on.

You tried sellign this BS before Bernie and over 70% of the voters called bullshit on you and Stoffa.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm just pointing out the facts. Troublesome little things, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

The facts as twisted and laid out Stoffa Angle/O'Hare. We have all been down that crooked road before.

Why don't you tell the folks that the County Controller has endorsed Lamont McClure for County Execuitve. That is a fact.

Anonymous said...

the county controller wears plaid skirts and stomps on innocent flower beds.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, seriously. Do you think that Mr. Callahan will honor his word to protect and keep Gracedale in County hands?

Anonymous said...

The ballot positions were picked and its amazing but that is how the race will end in May. First McClure, Second Reibman and third, Callahan.

Who would have thought. Another defeat for the Long Dem's.

Anonymous said...

Callahan will keep Gracedale just like he provided tax relief with the casino money. The guy is a bona fide promise keeper.

Lighthouse said...

Came home to the first of the primary season "campaign literature." It says "Lamont's plan to hire a private manager and work with the employees to deliver high quality services cost effectively is working. As County Executive, Lamont will finish the job".... Apparently it was all his plan, so what does that mean in light of this report?

On the referendum I voted to keep Gracedale County owned, and would again. I give McC credit for being one vote out of nine to support Gracedale, but "a leader"? Eye of the beholder, I suppose. Unfortunately, the County (Executives nor Councils) were not very good stewards of Gracedale over the years. The issues hightlighted here though read as managerial, not stewardship, nor union.

Lighthouse said...

One has to wonder if there is any connection between Abe Atiyeh's active support of McClure and his plans to "finish the job"?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, seriously. Do you think that Mr. Callahan will honor his word to protect and keep Gracedale in County hands?"

I do. I think that is why he made his announcement there.

Anonymous said...

The McClure flyer is preposterous. Those aren't Gracedale images..those are actors..just like him! HIS Save Gracedale plan is failing on several different levels. I fear Premier has done more harm than good..and the ratings confirm that opinion. A fresh look is needed..soon!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure county council will gladly let Lamont take full credit as he states for what has become Gracedale as of today. If that is where he is going to make his stand..good luck!

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would the unions give a dime to McClure? He has made their lives more miserable and has contributed to resident service drop offs amid the employee cutbacks and give backs. Wake up Gracedale employee's..your being used!

Anonymous said...

Self sustaining? That will never happen and is a pipe dream. Reality is that it will take large amounts of tax dollars to support the facility into the future IF it remains a county asset/resource.

Anonymous said...

Please don't accuse Bernie of posting the above 4 posts. They are mine and I'm union thru and thru. Sometimes you got to tell it like it is cause at some time in the future..Gracedale may well be the final destination for me and for you!

Anonymous said...

So tell it like it is,,who are you?

Anonymous said...

Who I am is not the issue. I just call it fair and square and let the chips fall where they may. I am certainly NOT on any Dem's payroll and cannot be bought or sold.

Anonymous said...

Your union, but I'll informed. McClure did not want to hire premiere and it seems tht he has had many questions on what premiere is doing to the workers for the bottom line. But you, Union, pin your misfortune on the one commissioner that is trying to help you. Are you just not seeing the forest from the trees or are you truly this gullible?

Anonymous said...

McClure claims in the mailer..proudly..that it's HIS plan in place. He's taking credit for it in black and white..no mention of the rest of council. Seems pretty straight forward to me. He reminds me of John Edwards..only claim to fame was winning a big court case and getting rich. The guy never got his hands dirty or broke a sweat. A waste of back breaking labor money spent on a snob like him. Shame..

Anonymous said...

In the end Gracedale will have to privatize. Unless the next solicitor wants to raise taxes and pump our tax dollars into it. A good solicitor knows when to say enough. It would be fine in private hands. It is funny that when the different. Private owners came to speak some jumped all over one particular group, the one from Dauphen County because they were a 2 or 3 star accommodation. Now you look the other way. Hypocrits or just ignorant? Guess you wouldn't know the difference. Unions could have given more. The biggest problem is they gat paid too much compared to others and therefore their bennies are too high also.

Anonymous said...

In the end Gracedale will have to privatize. Unless the next solicitor wants to raise taxes and pump our tax dollars into it. A good solicitor knows when to say enough. It would be fine in private hands. It is funny that when the different. Private owners came to speak some jumped all over one particular group, the one from Dauphen County because they were a 2 or 3 star accommodation. Now you look the other way. Hypocrits or just ignorant? Guess you wouldn't know the difference. Unions could have given more. The biggest problem is they gat paid too much compared to others and therefore their bennies are too high also.