The county-owned nursing home in Orleans County may be sold to a private buyer, and as YNN's Rose Eiklor found, a new study shows this is becoming a trend across the state.
"It's sort of a trend. Mostly, it's financial related," said CGR project director Donald Pryor.
The Center for Governmental Research in Rochester conducted a study on the future of county nursing homes in New York State. It found that in 2010, 92 percent of county-owned nursing homes in Upstate New York lost money. Since 2005, four homes were sold and two closed. The study also found that eight counties are currently in various stages of selling.
While the sustainability of these nursing homes is decreasing, the need is increasing.
"In most counties that we are looking at, those needs are probably going to increase because with the baby boomer generation, there are going to be more and more older people, and living not just older, but living longer," said Pryor.
Recently, Orleans County has set up a local development council to look into the sale of its nursing home.
"Right now, the LDC is going to market to determine whether or not there are viable options in terms of finding another operator to purchase the facility," said chief administrative officer Chuck Nesbitt.
Pryor said that before selling, counties should exhaust every option, which is something Nesbitt says the county has done.
"I think we have been a pretty good job in being exhausted in terms of trying to cut margins and reduce internal costs," said Nesbitt.
If the sale is the only option, Pryor said counties should do their research
"They just need to be very, very careful about the vetting process. At least one of the counties we look at that sold over the last five years made a pretty horrible decision and they wound up selling to a small building that wound up failing three or four years down the road," said Pryor.
CGR says that even after the sale, the counties should stay involved, and they should have certain expectations set for the buyer and monitor that them.
"We believe there are some things that can be done to build in at least some level of accountability of the new owners," said Pryor.
As for the Villages in Orleans County:
"Those are all things that are on the table with regard to what we want to put in the RFP as far as grading criteria. There are things that the LDC board is very interested in evaluating," said Nesbitt.
Nesbitt said they do not currently have a time line for the sale.