County board will cover health shortfalls

The Board of Supervisors on Monday voted to cover more than $850,000 in budget shortfalls for the co

The Board of Supervisors on Monday voted to cover more than $850,000 in budget shortfalls for the county’s nursing home and home health agency, the first time in several years the county has had to subsidize the two operations.

The board voted to spend $725,000 of the Fulton County Residential Health Care Facility’s reserves to cover a $596,313 gap in its state aid Medicaid revenue and $128,687 drop in anticipated private pay revenue.

Anticipated revenues for the county’s Certified Home Health Agency dropped by $143,000, which the board dipped into the county’s general reserves to cover.

Gloversville 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael F. Gendron, the county board’s finance committee chairman, said the late-year transfers are indicative of the troubled finances for the two entities, both of which the board is studying privatizing.

“Certainly, this is an indicator that they don’t have enough revenues to pay their bills, which is why we had to use the fund balances, which laymen sometimes call ‘rainy day’ funds,” Gendron said.

The county expects more rainy days for the nursing home in 2011. Officials have projected a $4.8 million budget gap for the facility. How large the gap will ultimately be will depend on more than $2 million in state funding that may or may not be available for the nursing home next year. The facility could also benefit from about $935,000 in federal funding not included in the budget projections, but only if the county provides a matching $935,000 in spending for its Department of Social Services.

County officials had no estimates for the nursing home’s total reserves, known as its fund balance, after the $750,000 depletion Monday. The nursing home’s fund balance has been the subject of controversy in recent months because a different set of accounting rules apply to the facility than the county as a whole.

Fulton County Treasurer Edgar “Terry” Blodgett said he’s working on a new estimate for the facility’s fund balance.

Two entities, down from four initially, remain interested in purchasing the nursing home: the Pharney Group, based in Tarrytown, Westchester County, and Centers for Specialty Care of the Bronx.

Even if the board chooses to sell the facility, the county will likely need to operate it at least through 2011 before the sale is completed.

Categories: News

Leave a Reply