Saturday, July 02, 2016

Aging Building In Need Of Unaffordable Upgrades, Shrinking Medicare & Medicaid Reimbursements Lead To Another Nursing Home Shutdown, Forcing Dispersal Of 30 Elderly, Poor Residents To Other Facilities Throughout State

In Winthrop, Maine, the Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel reports:
  • A nursing home in downtown Winthrop closed [last week], and the 30 residents who were staying there have been transferred to different long-term care facilities around the state, said Edward Hunt, who owns and administered Winthrop Manor Long Term Care and Rehab Center.

    The Western Avenue facility closed for a mix of reasons, Hunt said. The building was in poor shape and required considerable investment, he said, and the federal Medicaid program — known as MaineCare — was not reimbursing the full amount to house and care for residents there.

    “I never made any money in four or five years,” Hunt said. “It was difficult. Unfortunately, MaineCare doesn’t pay enough. For every dollar I spent, I got about 90 cents back.”

    While Winthrop Manor has housed an average of 40 residents over the last five years, Hunt said he had limited enrollments in the last year of operation, knowing that he eventually would close the nursing home.

    The 30 residents who remained this month were transferred to facilities in different parts of the state Monday, Hunt said, including Lewiston, Farmington, Madison and the Brunswick and Bangor areas.
    ***
    Hunt, who has owned the home for almost 12 years and also runs an assisted-living facility in Biddeford, said he is looking to the sell the Winthrop building. A former farm building, it was first converted to a care facility in 1956 and was showing its age in recent years. At least one furnace and two commercial laundry machines were 25 years old and in need of replacement, Hunt said.
    ***
    The challenge to Hunt’s business going forward, he said, was that shrinking reimbursements for Medicaid and Medicare services would not cover the upgrades needed to maintain his 46-bed home.

    “I don’t blame anybody,” he said of his reasons for closing. “But for us, it’s too little too late.”
For the story, see Downtown Winthrop nursing home closes (The 30 residents who were staying there have been transferred to different long-term care facilities around the state).

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