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Cost to Run Rest Haven Weighing on Schuylkill County

Schuylkill County finance officials are taking a closer look at the county’s nursing home, Rest Haven, as costs are becoming too expensive to continue to operate the home, according to an article on the RepublicanHerald.com.

County contributions have been increasing over the past few years and as a result the county finance director said they have been watching things carefully.

One factor they are considering is that for the last six years, Rest Haven has not been operating at full capacity, according to the article. In December 2013, 135 of the 142 beds at the facility were filled. That was 14 more beds that were filled than had been for the previous 2 years.

Another factor they are considering is that revenue has not been increasing in contrast to expenses. This is because federal reimbursements have not increased for local facilities such as Rest Haven. Almost 72 percent of the residents are paid through Medicare and Medicaid. The article pointed out that Rest Haven was short over $750,000 in 2008. That number jumped to $1.2 million in 2013. Even at full capacity, Rest Have could not break even.

Privately-run nursing homes have advantages, such as the ability to receive bonus money and buying medical supplies in bulk. Other factors that affect expenses at a private facility versus a state-run facility include location and rates.

According to the article, administrators are also trying to determine how the Affordable Health Care Act will impact nursing homes going forward.

In the article, a county administrator is quoted as saying, “Ultimately, we have to look at all options going forward to see where we end up, just like we are with everything else.”