|Bob Werner and Hayden Phillips|
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.