County-owned nursing and assisted living centers might end the fiscal year owing the county $700,000 beyond their budgeted subsidy, a consultant told officials Thursday.

Representatives of the private firm LW Consulting came before Frederick County commissioners to talk about the challenges of collecting payments due to Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living.

Commissioners President Blaine Young said he was particularly concerned that of the $6.4 million owed to the county-owned facilities, about $1.8 million was more than seven months overdue.

Steve Ryan, chief financial officer with LW, said collection efforts are making headway, but he projected that by the fiscal year’s end the centers would still owe the county $700,000 in cash assistance. The financial aid is in addition to the $4.2 million subsidy the county budgeted to give the facilities in fiscal 2013, he said.

Young said he does not fault LW for the centers’ financial woes.

“I know you’ve made recommendations, and some of them have fallen on deaf ears. This board needs to hear those recommendations,” Young told LW representatives Thursday.

LW has estimated that with significant changes at the two facilities, Citizens could pull almost $879,000 in profits in fiscal 2014, though Montevue would still come up short by $1.1 million.

The board of trustees for the centers has not been willing to make the deficit-cutting adjustments, Young said in an interview after the meeting.

Recently, the county’s look at selling the facilities has strained the relationship between the commissioners and board of trustee members, some of whom say Citizens and Montevue haven’t gotten a fair chance to show financial viability.

Young said Thursday that with the trustees’ inaction, the commissioners must think about taking matters into their own hands.

Sonja Sperlich, board of trustees president, said Young is “totally incorrect” that her panel has slowed progress on the budgetary plan drawn up by LW.

“LW is responsible for the development of those numbers and the implementation,” Sperlich said. “The county, as the owner, needs to ensure that LW does that. The board (of trustees) in its oversight role is going to be also holding the feet of LW to the fire.”

Adjusting the centers’ staffing and the number of indigent Montevue residents could help repair the deficits, LW has advised. While Montevue now serves 60 individuals who cannot afford to pay their way, the firm’s financial plan calls for cutting this total to 38 and giving the other 37 beds to unsubsidized residents.

Lori Depies, county manager, cautioned that the decision to serve fewer needy individuals at Montevue would be difficult and would not be made overnight. The centers would have to wait for residents to leave before replacing them with private-pay individuals, Depies said.

As it considers selling the centers, the county this week received final offers from two bidders, Aurora Health Management and NMS Healthcare, Depies reported.

After reviewing the offers, an evaluation committee will recommend the bidder the commissioners should choose if they decide to proceed with a sale, Depies wrote in an email.

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter @BethRodgersFNP.

(11) comments

bnace42

Please keep Blame Young and gang from getting Frederick Co. out of Montevue and Citizens careship with their selling off. Budget cut elsewhere; trim some real fat. I have strong fellings of support for those places. I had a mother who resided in both for several years, without ever having any complaints about her care. And I had a late wife who was President of the Montevue Auxiliary. And I believe the property deed had probably already been somewhat violated by the building of other facilities across the street, on/near that land where the original Montevue Home was.

watson4sherlock

Why aren't all the county roads toll roads? You know laying black top costs money.

rbrtsrx

Please sell it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve Ryan, chief financial officer with LW, said collection efforts are making headway, but he projected that by the fiscal year’s end the centers would still owe the county $700,000 in cash assistance. The financial aid is in addition to the $4.2 million subsidy the county budgeted to give the facilities in fiscal 2013, he said.

That is 4.9 million!

Why Why Why is the county in this business???????

watson4sherlock

$700,000 is $14,300,000 less than the $15 million the Frederick County Public Schools needs to make their budget and $4,300,000 less than the $5 million Frederick High School needs to have a pool. Some prospective here please.

Perhapsnotyet

My concern in this article is this, "and giving the other 37 beds to unsubsidized residents." What will happen to those 37 people? Would someone simply roll them out into the street? Load them up in a City Cab and send them to Carol Creek or find another home that could absorb them? I have never understood why a nursing home has to be profitable. Just breaking even seems to be more humane. Guess it is the American way.

joelp77440

What the board needs to understand is that it really does not matter what they say. Blaine will not give them a chance to prove themselves; he has made up his mind to sell it. LW only purposes is to reinforce his objectives find that your organization is profitable. Publically they may take a different stance and say fair competitive things, but behind closed doors, this deal is done. The board should not be complacent; the battle is lost; attack and turn the citizens against the commission.

MCEDDE21

Misleading Title, Tenuous Reporting, More Lies

As yesterday's FNP editorial was helpful, today's article is equally disappointing. The headline, "Citizens, Montevue May Owe County $700,000," could as easily have been, "Board of Trustees Seeks Cooperation from Management Firm, LWC"; or "Management Company Pleads for More Time."


On the contrary, BoCC President Blaine Young attempts to blame the Board of Trustees for the problem he created, all the while pandering to the private management firm, which has made some improvements, albeit too slowly by Young's own measure.


Moreover, Young has demanded profitability from the two homes including a restructuring to slash the number of indigents at Montevue. Yet, both Young and Paul Smith audaciously claim that the homes are not meeting their mission and the requirements of the deed! (See Smith's LTE, today.)


Finally, LWC has proposed to reduce staffing from 8 hours per patient day, to the supposed "industry standard" of 3.5 hours. But Young and Smith don't seem to see that as yet, another, abrogation of their responsibility "to the poor of said county..."

dbjanda1

The first two words of this article are interesting 'county owned'...If the county truly owns these two facilities then why do they owe anything to an establishment that owns them...Taxpayers were told that Montevue and Citizens have a different tax status with the IRS and that was the reason they couldn't be sold at full market value...The IRS doesn't get involved locally except to issue tax status ID #'s, everthing else is left to local jurisdictions or the state...Do these facilities have different IRS tax status #'s ???...If so then they are independent and not 'OWNED BY THE COUNTY'...If they use Frederick County's tax I'D # then the IRS letter is invalid...Citizens need to know what regulation the IRS is using, why and how they are involved and who submitted an application for a property sale ruling in the first place ???...Has anyone seen this letter, is it posted on the county website and who signed it ???...A little transparency goes a long way and it would be nice to know why the IRS would be involved in a non-tax issue with this sale...Just askin'...Me

frederickinsider

Did we have these issues before LW? How is this not LW fault? What a mess

president8444

Too many articles,people losing interest.Just blame Blaine is not news now.

fredneckforever

Just moved here from Glen Burnie, Tennessee. What a Blaine, and does it cus at youth referees? [smile]

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