Potential sale of Bedford County Nursing Home sparks concern | Govt. and Politics


Some users of the Bedford County neighborhood are voicing worries with the prospect the county-run nursing home could be bought, expressing they ended up blindsided by the announcement and are anxious their liked ones’ excellent of care could be adversely influenced.

Before this 7 days, Bedford County posted recognize of a distinctive-termed conference Monday night for a community hearing concerning the opportunity sale of assets “encompassing the Bedford County Nursing House.”

Initially set up as the County Weak Farm in 1831, the Bedford County Nursing House in the Falling Creek advanced at 1229 County Farm Road has a extensive neighborhood record as a publicly-owned institution.

Nursing home functions are overseen by Bedford County officials, who approve budgets and payroll, proposed assignments or hires, and other functioning issues.

Bedford County general public data officer Shelley Basinger verified Monday’s public listening to is regarding likely sale of the nursing property, even though she claimed Bedford County staff want to emphasize this does not imply a sale is a “done deal.”

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Basinger mentioned county officers will not perform media interviews until after Monday night’s meeting.

A statement from Bedford County’s community facts workplace claimed Bedford County is contemplating promoting to privately-owned Roanoke-based American Healthcare LLC, operator of Heritage Corridor Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centers, “due to its positive status in the area, comparable business enterprise model in conditions of payer combine with Medicaid citizens and focus on supplying treatment in rural areas.”

The statement reported American HealthCare’s enterprise tradition “aligns very well with Bedford County’s.”

“With the at any time-escalating regulatory environment encompassing nursing households, the responsibility to make clever decisions in this space is finest addressed by field experts who focus in healthcare compliance, relatively than nearby government officials who do not have this expertise. This has often been a challenge, but the COVID-19 pandemic enhanced the Board’s curiosity to explore other possibilities,” the county statement reported. “The healthcare employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate, as reaffirmed by the United States Supreme Court docket, is opposite to the positions of all Board associates and has further difficult uniformity with how employees are addressed throughout all departments of County governing administration.”

American Healthcare associates could not be attained for comment Friday.

Some nursing dwelling team associates and family members associates who have beloved kinds living at the property mentioned they have been 1st notified of the growth this 7 days, 7 days or fewer prior to the distinctive named general public hearing.

Main concerns shared by personnel and loved ones users who spoke to The News & Advance bundled potential deterioration in the top quality of treatment citizens acquire by transitioning from domestically overseen public care to a privately owned for-earnings organization, and what personnel and loved ones customers really feel is a deficiency of transparency from their regional leadership.

Nursing property personnel mentioned they had been first notified of the potential sale Monday, just 1 7 days prior to the public listening to the place the board of supervisors will vote on whether or not or not to approve providing the facility to American Healthcare.

Monthly bill Vickery, a registered nurse who will work at the Bedford County Nursing Property right after 18 a long time working at Oakwood Wellbeing and Rehabilitation Center in Bedford, mentioned he thinks providing the facility would be “a disaster.”

Getting labored at other nursing dwelling amenities, like in an administrative potential, Vickery mentioned he is worried a for-profit firm would make staffing cuts, which in transform could negatively impact the excellent of treatment supplied to citizens.

Inspite of currently being a lesser organization, Vickery explained, the Bedford County Nursing Home has 4 things to do employees, a employees education nurse and an an infection regulate nurse, which is an aspect he likes about the present product.

“A for-gain company, no matter how great-intentioned they are, they are not going to offer that identical level. It’s just the way it is,” Vickery reported.

Noting a large craze of nursing properties staying offered to other providers through the past many several years, Vickery stated he was worried if a sale goes by, the Bedford County facility could get sucked into that trend.

“It could be, of course, maybe the first company is a superior corporation. But you do not know they’re not certain to not provide it to the subsequent firm. As soon as it is out of your hands, you’ve shed command,” he mentioned.

Loved ones associates of county nursing household residents said they were not notified of the improvement right up until Wednesday, providing only five days’ see of the community listening to that will make your mind up the destiny of the spot their loved ones dwell.

Julie Stanley’s 98-yr-outdated mother has lived at the Bedford County Nursing Dwelling due to the fact 2018.

“We wouldn’t want any other spot for her,” Stanley claimed.

She appreciates the quite a few routines provided for citizens and explained team have been “more than fantastic,” exhibiting compassion and treatment. Stanley fears the top quality of treatment would deteriorate if the facility is bought to a personal enterprise.

Coming from a vocation working for Virginia government wellness care-similar departments and carefully with Medicaid providers, Stanley said she has witnessed what can happen when a nursing home facility is privatized.

“I have lengthy understood that that is publicly not the ideal thing to take place to a nursing residence, in conditions of high-quality of care of the people,” she mentioned. “The present-day nursing house framework operated by the county is totally accountable to the board, and the citizens and Bedford County, and that accountability will not be there any more.”

5 days’ notice of a likely sale of her mother’s nursing dwelling, with tiny details about why this is occurring, seemed “unconscionable,” Stanley explained.

Tracey Jamerson, of Bedford, explained her 81-12 months-outdated mom has lived in the county nursing home given that February, ultimately getting in soon after getting on the ready list because previous Oct. With restricted choices for those on Medicaid or Medicare, the Bedford County Nursing Home was a single of the finest out there choices — but Jamerson mentioned she was impressed with the facility for other factors upon visiting as opposed with some different sites she experienced appeared into, from quality of treatment to repairs of the facility.

“It was like a breath of fresh new air when I went up there and toured,” Jamerson stated.

Jamerson furthermore concerns about getting rid of the good quality of care and a local community setting for nursing home inhabitants if Bedford County gives up oversight of the nursing property. Possessing listened to stories of how inhabitants in some nursing residences owned by non-public, for-gain organizations can end up in overcrowded, neglectful, normally detrimental conditions, Jamerson reported she is concerned a lack of nearby oversight and accountability by the county through general public care could end result in equivalent troubles, particularly if a new operator decides to do matters like make staffing cuts.

“I imagine that this is a unusual gem, and it requires to be preserved. I don’t think privatizing it is likely to be fantastic for the patients or the employees,” Jamerson stated. “I detest to see it, soon after I’ve waited this long to get her [my mom] in there, eventually get her in there and get her settled, and then to hear this.”

Jamerson and Stanley both of those claimed they listened to about the public listening to from the nursing residence, not from the county workplaces.

Nursing dwelling workers and resident family users inspired the public to attend the general public listening to at 7 p.m. Monday at the Bedford County administration constructing on 122 East Major St., Bedford, or contact their supervisors to voice their input.

“I think that this is a scarce gem, and it demands to be preserved. I do not assume privatizing it is going to be superior for the people or the personnel.”

Tracey Jamerson, Bedford resident whose 81-year-outdated mom has lived in the county nursing house given that February

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