Is the County Loaning BHC Money? (PART II)

(This is Part two of a 2 part series. To read part 1 click on Is the County Loaning BHC Money? Part 1)Last month I shared with you that the county is not loaning the hospital money. I also shared how the county has been able to use federal Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) dollars to invest in the Inter-Governmental Transfer (IGT) program specifically designed to generate a 38% return and give it to your Medicare/Medicaid licensed nursing home. The Department of Public Health and Human Services facilitates the program as it’s the federal government’s way to make up the short fall in Medicaid payments of lower income residents. The participation in this program is what gives us the ability to be the 5 Star nursing home the people of our county deserve.

In order to reach a 5 Star rating, not only must we give excellent care, but a skilled nursing home must comply with many complex legal regulations and requirements. Staffing licensed nursing personnel to care for your loved ones around the clock consumes about $1.2 million of our $2 million nursing home budget. The rest is spent on utilities, supplies, food, equipment and even a bed tax. One of the funniest expenses I

learned about was that there is a Nursing Home Bed Tax. Much like a fancy hotel, Broadwater Health Center nursing home has to file quarterly tax returns and pay a tax for every night someone is occupying a bed. This totals nearly $100,000 a year.

Participating in the IGT is a way to turn $200,000 of your county federal dollars (PILT) into $276,000 and use it towards caring for your elderly neighbors. If Broadwater County does not participate, the $76,000 gets dispersed to other counties in the state for their nursing homes. We can certainly survive without these funds, but the support helps the nursing home to reach financial stability and meet compliance with all safety and staffing regulations.

The fact remains that the county is not loaning money to the hospital. The county has instead invested funds in a program that returns a larger investment than just dollars to your county nursing home. In addition to that, Broadwater Health Center has the great taxpayers of the community to thank as they contribute $170,000 a year towards the $4.4 million hospital budget through payment of property taxes. Those tax dollars help provide healthcare for those that are not able to pay. Everyone in this community can be proud. Be proud of your 5 Star nursing home, be proud of your hospital, be proud of your community and your neighbors. I get excited about my role at BHC because not only do I get to see the improvement in the hospital financials, I get to see the impact your support has on the people working and living here every day.

I find that amazing and pretty darn special.