Fulton County nursing home sale under review by supervisors

Nathan Littauer Hospital and three other organizations have filed proposals to acquire Fulton Cou


Nathan Littauer Hospital and three other organizations have filed proposals to acquire Fulton County’s nursing home, according to a list released by the Board of Supervisors on Thursday.

Wednesday was the deadline for proposals from parties interested in purchasing and operating the Fulton County Residential Health Care Facility and/or the county’s Certified Home Health Agency. The supervisors decided in August to hire the Center for Government Research, a consulting firm, to help study privatizing the two county operations and to help solicit proposals.

The four parties that filed proposals for the nursing home were: Bronx-based Centers for Specialty Care; Herkimer-based Leatherstocking Healthcare LLC; Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville; and Tarrytown-based Pharney Group LLC.

Only one organization submitted a proposal for the CHHA: Mountain Valley Hospice in Gloversville.

Greg Fagan, chairman of the board of supervisors, released a statement Thursday: “The board’s stated goal is to explore private and not-for-profit options for continued operation of the nursing home and to compare those options with the existing county-owned structure to determine what is in the best interest of the community,” Fagan stated. “The review of the proposals and the modeling study will be a time-consuming process. In the next step [CEG] will be evaluating the detailed proposals that were just received and will compile an initial summary report to be presented at the next steering committee for the RFP and modeling study. This meeting will be open to the public and will likely be scheduled for late March.”

CSEA Local 818 President Ron Briggs said he’s filed a New York State Freedom of Information Law Request with the county to see the specific proposals filed by each organization.

“I’m not interested in CEG’s summary, I want to see the proposals,” Briggs said.

Fulton County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said the board wouldn’t release the proposals Thursday because of concerns about revealing proprietary information from the companies that submitted them. He offered no further comment on the issue.

The Daily Gazette on Thursday submitted a FOIL request for the proposals.

Briggs, who said he’s submitted 1,360 letters to the board from individuals opposed to privatization of the two operations, said he’s concerned about whether a new owner would maintain the nursing home’s role as the care provider for the county’s poorest elderly. He said he doesn’t understand why Fulton County can’t make money with the facility, if private entities believe they can.

“What does Nathan Littauer see in our facility that we don’t see in our facility?” Briggs said.

Leslie Beadle, Nathan Littauer’s vice president in charge of the hospital’s existing nursing home, said her organization’s interest in the nursing home will depend on the answers to questions they submitted to Fulton County as part of their proposal. She would not reveal the questions Thursday.

“This is a facility that is well established in the county and we also have a long-term care facility. We thought this could be a good extension, so that’s why we’re looking into it,” she said. “This would just extend and increase our number of long-term beds.”

In his released statement, Fagan said closure of the nursing home is not being considered but the uncertain financial liability of operating it is the factor motivating the board to examine privatization.

“Because of the financial condition of New York, the state will likely continue to cut reimbursement to health care and impose new taxes on publicly run facilities to balance its budget,” he said. “There will be less state and federal money to go around, and this fact does not bode well for publicly run nursing homes. Responsible local leaders should evaluate ways to deal with this before they are in a financial crisis — not after.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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