WNYT.com

Bleak financial future outlined at Albany nursing home

Posted at: 02/27/2013 5:51 PM
Updated at: 03/01/2013 12:00 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

COLONIE - June Maniscalco said the care her mother-in-law is getting at the Albany County Nursing home is priceless.

"She's here because she has dementia and she's getting phenomenal care," Maniscalco said.

She's worried that will change if the 250 facility is privatized, even after hearing that county taxpayers are losing a million dollars a month to operate it now.

"We own other places that are losing money. Why pick on this facility? This facility is full of taxpayers. people who paid taxes they're whole lives who nobody else wants to care for," she said.

But privatization is the hard medicine the County Executive said is needed, because of changes in the Medicaid reimbursement rate along with rising health care and insurance costs drained the county.

"I'm offering a partnership with Upstate Service Group to take over our nursing home, protect our seniors, protect the taxpayers and we're taking responsibility and we're protecting our workers," he said.

McCoy urges lawmakers to approve a lease with that private company to pay the County 400,000-a-year to run the facility, which he said will ensure that current residents can stay on. McCoy says he'll also give jobs and pension consideration for employees who don't get hired.

But Donna McBean, a longtime nurse at the home, was still nervous.

"I don't want to go on unemployment and to start looking for a job at this age, there are a lot of places who would think twice before hiring somebody who is older," she said.

Also Wednesday, McCoy set a date for the first public hearing on the nursing home's future.

It takes place on March 7th at 4 p.m. at the Harold L. Joyce Albany County Office Building at 112 State Street in Albany.