LIBERTY – The latest available data from the federal government indicates that the quality of resident care at the Sullivan County nursing home has decreased from the previous reporting period.
The Care Center at Sunset Lake received a below average rating of 2 stars, down ½ a star from the last report. Garnet Catskill Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Unit and the Roscoe Nursing Home both received the government’s top rating of 5 stars. Achieve, which is the fourth nursing home facility located in Sullivan County, received a rating of 3 stars for resident care.
The Care Center at Sunset Lake, which is estimated to lose about $1 million per month, has been in the spotlight as the county Legislature explores its options to lease the facility. Sullivan County is one of only a few remaining counties in New York State that still operates a nursing home.
Opponents of the plan to lease the facility say the quality of care will suffer if the facility is privately run. “There is a lot of misinformation out there,” said Legislative Chairman Robert Doherty, “but the claims are not supported by facts.”
Doherty said that the legislature has made it clear from the beginning that the quality of care and the safety of the residents at the county’s nursing home is a top priority. “One of the public misconceptions is that the county nursing home is currently free. That has never been the case. Residents who are not covered by insurance, Medicare or Medicaid must pay out of pocket, just like a private facility,” said Doherty.
In August, the legislature voted 8 to 1 to move the Care Center to a Local Development Corporation in preparation for leasing. A request for proposals was released in October and 6 companies responded with proposals to run the facility. The legislature will review the proposals this month and make recommendations to the Local Development Corporation.
“Our ultimate goal is to increase the quality of care for the residents of the Care Center while reducing the burden on the taxpayer,” said Doherty. “When you look at the ratings published by the federal government, the private nursing home facilities in Sullivan County are on the top and we are at the bottom. Sullivan County is long overdue to address this issue.”