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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, June 22, 2015

Should Gracedale Reorganize As A Nonprofit?

Bob Werner and Hayden Phillips
During the debate leading up to the primary, NorCo Council candidate John Cusick suggested that it's time to convert Gracedale, the County's nursing home, into a 501c3 nonprofit organization. But that won't be happening any time soon. At their June 18 meeting, Council defeated a proposal to just study the idea.

Premier Health Care Resources is the Gracedale Administrator. It operates the nursing homes in Monroe and Clinton County, which have both opted to transition into nonprofit operations. It proposed doing a study for the County, at no cost, on the pros and cons of such a move.

The biggest advantage of such a change might be that Gracedale would be able to take advantage of higher reimbursement rates currently denied to publicly run nursing homes. But suspicion still runs high that this would just be the opening salvo in an attempt to sell the facility.Lamont McClure, who has often referred to Gracedale as a "moral obligation" of the County, worried that this is nothing more than a replay of the previous attempt to sell.He called it a "step down the path of not taking care of residents," and added that eight out of ten county residents want to see Gracedale remain in County hands

Mat Benol certainly added to McClure's fear when he suggested that the study should consider "all possibilities."

But other Gracedale supporters like Bob Werner and Peg Ferraro welcomed a study. "It's not taking us down any road,"  he responded to McClure's criticism. "You can't say it's a bad thing until you discover it's a bad thing." Scott Parsons echoed Werner and Ferraro. "We owe it to the constituents we represent and we owe it to ourselves to look at all avenues short of a sale."

Dee Freeman, Premier's man at Gracedale, assured Council that all property would be retained by the county, but the management would be a nonprofit.

Although Seth Vaughn liked the idea of a study, he believed it should be done from someone other than Premier

In the end, the measure failed in a five to four vote, with Vaughn, Benol, Glenn Geissinger, Ken kraft and McClure voting No.


Anonymous said...

Won`t make any difference who runs it. It`s a money pit. Will never "make money " again.

Anonymous said...

The dump Gracedale crowd will never give up. They continue to work in the shadows.

Anonymous said...

reorganize it as a nonprofit, controlled by a county authority.

Anonymous said...

Gracedale is why NorCo can't have nice things. When somebody in the county dies from the collapse of a deficient bridge, the union and the cheapskate, unfeeling, phony families group should have to carry the casket and pay for the funeral they caused. Sacrificing safety of all citizens for a union jobs program and a few union-friendly families who are OK with providing lesser, subsidized care for their loved ones is simply selfish and evil. Gracedale is why we can't have nice things. These selfish ghouls are responsible.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:32 obviously has never visited any nursing homes and has no idea of what they are talking about. They only have their irrational hate.

Anonymous said...

I’m an insurance guy so I have no idea of the ifs, ands, or buts of a 501(c)(3) and, unless I do independent study, I never will. And neither, it seems, will Council.

When Hayden introduced this resolution, it seemed to me to be free education, with no strings attached, which may…may…provide a workable path or at least a new idea to throw in the mix. And then when Mr. Werner, a man for whom I have a growing respect, also was in favor, I figured that passage was a no-brainer (I do hate that phrase). But it was killed…not tabled for later consideration but killed.

I don’t always agree with the majority decisions or some of the individual ones but I usually understand the thought processes…but turning down free education on a possible solution totally escapes me.


Anonymous said...

Gracedale is a black hole where taxpayer dollars are sucked in by the millions. Counties should NOT be in the nursing home business! Their "competitors" are private sector nursing homes THAT PAY TAXES! This is all about the unions and their willing accomplices, the Gracedale Goons. Where is the indignant Rev. Martinez now? Does he show up at council meetings any more? Why not? Aren't there other social causes relating to county operations that deserve similar advocacy? Like the lack of money for senior programs thanks to the county not being able to sell the Gracedale white elephant? The time limit established by the referendum not to sell Gracedale is rapidly approaching. But this spineless council and executive will back down and the county will continue to operate this archaic facility. But the county voters (and taxpayers) have spoken. Live with the consequences when your taxes continue to go up to support Gracedale for years to come.

Bernie O'Hare said...

A person who is unwilling to identify himself is in no position to describe anyone else as spineless

Anonymous said...

Agree with 11:05.

Why wouldn't you want to know as much as possible about ALL the options?

How else can you make an informed decision?

Anonymous said...

All options should be presented and evaluated. The place is running better than at any time in its history and the math is still very troubling, as it continues to lose increasing amount of money. That's not good for anyone, patients, employees, or taxpayers. It's time to listen.

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

I voted to keep Gracedale in County hands. However, why not explore this? Potentially more reimbursements (which has been one of the largest issues as I understand them), yet still County owned facilities managed as a non-profit. At the end of the day, there may be legitimate reasons to reject the idea, but until explored how would you know?

Anonymous said...

"Gracedale did make money for the county before the Stoffa administration."

Yes it did, then the state changed the reimbursement formulas to the disadvantage of county homes. The truth is that Pat Browne and Lisa Boscola can cut backroom deals in Harrisburg over drinks for NIZes, CRIZZes, and prop up unnecessary 911 centers in Allentown and Bethlehem, but when is comes to Gracedale and Cedarbrook they don't give a shit. A simple change in the welfare code would restore fiscal health to both county homes.

It's easy to crap on Stoffa, Angle, and Council, but you really need to target your vitriol at Browne, Boscola and the LV delegation in Harrisburg.

Enjoy the hockey. Truth out.