Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Census Dips at Gracedale

When Premier Healthcare Service was hired as Northampton County's Administrator at Gracedale, the census was down to 590. This means revenue was down, too. Turning that around was a top priority of this privatized manager, and by February 2015, the number of residents had increased to 681. Executive Lamont McClure has fired Premier, convinced the county can administer the home itself. But if census is any indication, it's time for another private administrator.

In February, Gracedale Interim Administrator Jennifer D. Stewart-King reported in February that census was down to 665. Last week, she told Council's Human Services Committee that it dropped even more, to 645 in June. This is now below what is budgeted, meaning a loss of revenue. At the current rate, Gracedale is about three months away from down to the level it was at when Premier was hired to turn things around.

Stewart-King said that she is working to increase census by reaching out to media, including radio and TV. She is also trying to recruit more staff, and has sent flyers to LPNs and RNs within a 30-mile radius. She even advertises in church bulletins.

"Just come and try us out; You'll fall in love with us,." she said.

That's actually a pretty good pitch.

DON told Council that mandated overtime is down from a high of 13 in May to just one this month.

This, however, comes with a price. Less staff.

According to Medicare, Gracedale is still rated below average, at two stars. That includes staffing.

This is not rocket science. The best way to increase staffing is by paying people more. When that happens, census will go up, too.


Anonymous said...

Barf! What a recruiting pitch! Come work in a bloated, depressing institution run by unions. Feel the satisfaction of working short handed every shift in an s-hole environment. And families - place your loved one in a below average nursing home that is short staffed and run by incompetents. Yeah, try to put some lipstick on that pig wallowing in the mud. How can you not fall in love with that?

Anonymous said...

But I thought the brilliant administration just touted how great it was at negotiating contracts? So pay is still sub par?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I think so, across the board. From the jail to 911 to Gracedale, the county needs to pay the people it has instead of creating new positions to make life easier for a Council Clerk making nearly $100k

Anonymous said...

So McClure has made poor decisions and is screwing up Gracedale worse than it was already screwed up? Who could have possibly foreseen this? LOL. He's running the worst Gracedale in county history. It's time to call it like it is.

Anonymous said...

You know it is bad when Northampton County advertises for Gracedale recruiting on placements! County of Northampton has always been laughing stock and it is getting worse again.

Anonymous said...

The census should be cut and budgeted for 500 patients. There are too many nursing home beds in the Lehigh Valley and government keeps competing with the private sector for patients. It will lose money and only have a balanced budget with fudging the numbers. One question should be asked: " if we had no nursing home and were building one today how big would it be? Would it be built at all?

Anonymous said...

McClure and the union bosses set the pay. Why attack a council employee? You are deflecting for your mancrush. You go nuts when someone mentions pocketbook Pegs daughter getting a huge raise but attack county council for filling a vacant position. Be real.

Anonymous said...

Bernie is so right about the wage issue....I'll use LPN 2, part-time, because that particular job is posted right now on both Lehigh and Northampton County websites....Lehigh is paying $30.10 plus differential for this part-time position and Northampton County appears to be paying a bit over $20/hr for the same (it appears the full-time wage is posted, not the hourly wage). If I were an experienced LPN, I'd be driving over to Cedarbrook, wouldn't you? That is a HUGE difference! There aren't many healthcare jobs posted for Lehigh County either, what does that tell you about working conditions?

Restorative part-time CNA (certified nursing assistant) is posted on Lehigh County's website at a wage of $20.44 per hour. I believe CNAs in Northampton County make approx. $14/hour to start.

Telecommunicators at 911 in Northampton County start at between $37,000 and $38,000, whereas at PA State Police and Lehigh County, they begin at around $41,000. Northampton County is continuously running ads and trying to hire. There is no current ad for Lehigh County posted.

Anonymous said...

That's why we need Ron Angle to make Northampton County great again!