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Monroe Care Center sale awaiting survey results

WOODSFIELD — The expected privatization of the Monroe County Care Center is being held up as parties wait for a survey from the Ohio Department of Health.

The county commissioners said Monday that this will take place prior to any transfer of ownership.

Earlier this month, Commissioners Carl Davis and Tim Price voted in favor of a purchase and sale agreement and an operations transfer agreement with Bryan Casey, president of Alternative Living Solutions, who intends to purchase the center, for $500,000. Commissioner Mick Schumacher, who has opposed the sale, abstained.

“There has to be a state survey. That has not happened yet,” Davis said. “They’ve been informed.

“They know that the transfer is in the works. They know what the proposed date is.”

He said the survey process is usually short. The commissioners did not speculate about whether Casey might sign the agreement after the survey.

The commissioners and care center will not be made aware of the survey prior to it beginning.

“They just come in when they’re ready to do the survey,” Price said.

Price said if the state survey does not occur prior to the plan transfer date of Dec. 16, a new date will be selected.

The 166-year-old professional rehabilitation and nursing services provider has been a source of contention and expense in the county. After after the center lost its certification to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients in 2015, the commissioner invested more than $6 million to keep it operational. The center regained certification in 2017 and has since earned a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. However, it has still not become self-sufficient.

The care center came up again later that day, when Dustin Napier, client services representative from CompManagement, LLC, and Jennifer Oiler, account executive with CompManagement Health Systems, vendors working with the state, reported an improved experience modification rate of 0.90.

“That’s a 10-percent credit,” Oiler said. She said the county has decreased its frequency of claims from 2017 through 2019, with six claims so far in 2019.

“They’ll be paying less than what other counties would,” Napier said.

Estimates for the 2020 annual premium are $162,079, with the 2021 policy at $131,821.

“So (there’s) a little over $30,000 in savings, because of the claims filed decreasing.”

The representatives said they expect the sale to have a positive impact. There are close to 80 employees at the care center.

“They were a big generator of claim activity, so with them not being under the county umbrella, it should improve their claims frequency and severity,” Oiler said.

The commissioners suggested re-evaluating after the sale is complete in 2020.

“In anticipation of the sale, it makes sense to come back and visit this as soon as we can,” Price said. The commissioners will send the payroll numbers for the care center.

In other matters, Monroe County Engineer Amy Zwick also reported on upcoming slip repair on Monroe County Road 81 in the northeast corner of the county. The slip, about 100 feet long, is situated at a point which doesn’t see much traffic, despite nearby oil and gas work.

“It’s a good time of year to be looking at it,” she said.

She said the slip occurred this year, but was not a Federal Emergency Management Agency project. Oil and gas interests will cover the cost of $196,963.

“The oil and gas operators that utilize that road contributed to repairing it,” she said.

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