News Local/State

Nursing Home Board Wants To Study Consultant’s Proposal

The Champaign County Nursing Home Board.

The Champaign County Nursing Home Board, meeting Monday night to discuss the nursing home's future. From L-R: Josh Hartke, Mary Hodson, Edmund Sutton, Chairman Jack Anderson, Cathy Emanuel, Samuel Banks, Deb Busey. Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media

On Tuesday evening, the Champaign County Board starts a discussion of what to do next with the county nursing home, now that voters have rejected a tax hike but approved the possibility of selling it. Meanwhile, the nursing home advisory board will explore another proposal — running the facility as a non-profit institution with help from local healthcare institutions.

The idea comes from consultant Ron Aldridge, who the county board hired to explore options for the nursing home. He thinks the county should work with Carle, Presence Health and Christie Clinic — to run the nursing home as a separate non-profit corporation. Nursing Home Board Chairman Jack Anderson says the county board needs to know if the Aldridge proposal is feasible.

"My thinking is that the county board is going to be having its discussions", said Anderson. "And this is something that’s lingering out there. Well, what about the non-profit option? And I think we need to answer that.”

The Nursing Home board is setting up an informal working group to make a quick study of the Aldridge proposal. One of their first questions they hope to answer is whether there are any legal roadblocks to the concept.

Meanwhile, Champaign County Nursing Home officials are hoping for a speedy improvement in their quality ratings — now that the state Department of Public Health has admitted it made a mistake.

Scott Gima with the nursing home management firm MPA told the Nursing Home Board Monday night that Public Health officials admitted they entered too low a number for the average time nurses’ aides spend with each resident. The correct number is 2.32 hours a day.

Gima says an official correction should be made soon.

"We’ll have to see when it comes out," said Gima. "But it is probable, we think, depending on where the cut points are, that we could see a one-star increase in our staffing. And so then, the trickle-down effect may be a one-star increase in our overall rating.”

The Champaign County Nursing Home once enjoyed a four-star or “Above Average” rating.  But right now, its rating is “Much Below Average.”