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Health sale reasons include cost liability

    PENN YAN—The operating loss for the Yates County Home Health Agency in 2010 was $125,000. The expected loss for 2011 is $100,000. The stark figures emphasize the reasons a committee of Yates County legislators is currently underway for the sale of the agency’s operating certificate. Yates County Administrator Sarah Purdy provided the loss figures.
Savings if the operating certificate is sold to one of two not-for-profit companies who are interested in purchasing it will be known when negotiations are complete. This is expected no later than September.
    An ad hoc committee was named in March. On Monday, July 11, a public presentation was made to outline the process. Priorities defined by the committee are quality of service to patients, personnel, including maintaining employment and patient base and a financial analysis. Financial analysis noted public sector certified home health agencies, such as the one in Yates County, are not financially competitive. Reasons for this include higher pension and health insurance.
    Another consideration is an estimate of patients. A reduction in the number of patients is projected in the years 2011 to 2016. The total number of visits is expected to decline during upcoming years. Reasons for reduced number of visits include technological advances such as remote monitoring, and in-house rehabilitation of patients at hospitals.
    Also on the list are increase in Medicaid Managed Care and Medicare Managed Care. Both require co-payment from patients.
    Services provided by Yates County Public Health that are included in the operating certificate being negotiated include skilled nursing and home health aide visits and personal care aide assistance. Public health services are not included. They are family health (well child visits, immunizations, disease control (rabies and flue clinics, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases and bioterrorism and health education.
    Other services include health education, community health assessment preschool services and physically handicapped children’s program. Emergency medical services coordination and early intervention services and coordination round out the list.
    During a special meeting of the Yates County Legislature meeting Thursday, July 11, several people spoke in opposition to the sale of the operating certificate. Legislature Chairman Taylor Fitch said, “Many people have used Yates County Home Health Service. We have never heard anything derogatory bout our services. It is recognized as one of the best. It made money in some years. Why consider it? Covering our costs is much less certain in the future.”




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