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Orleans and its LDC may not be seeking government reimbursements

Posted 14 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Editor:

Other than an invaluable, Federally-rated, Four Star quality, skilled nursing facility, what else would Orleans County taxpayers be giving up should Our County Nursing Home (The Villages of Orleans) be sold?

We know that we would be giving up an IGT benefit of $1 to $2 million a year. We would be losing the space presently occupied by the County Health Department and The Board of Elections.We would be handing any new owner the income potential of “A” and “B” wings and at a minimum price of $5.5 million a 1995 space that is still in great condition. This accounting does not include $10 million worth of 2007 space and upgraded infrastructure.

It turns out there may be more.

Paul Mrozek of The Daily News in Batavia has reported (9/5 and 9/12/13) that Genesee County lawmakerselected by Genesee County voters hired Freed-Maxick Health Solutions to recover millions in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements owed to Genesee County’s nursing home for the past year.

To recover some $5.2 million, Genesee authorized the expenditure of no more than $50,000. According to Mrozek’s reporting, such an effort must be made within a year of a billable service being provided to a nursing home resident.

Likewise, Freed-Maxick has been retained to “capture” outstanding private pay accounts receivable in Genesee County. If I read him right, Genesee lawmakers already recovered $500,000 by spending $37,500.That is a refreshingly “business-like” approach.

Mrozek’s reporting raises obvious questions for Orleans County taxpayers.Does Orleans have a similar time-sensitive billing mess on its hands? If so, what are we doing to recover what is owed the taxpayers of Orleans County? Would any new owner of “The Villages of Orleans” be able to “capture” reimbursements and accounts receivable owed to Orleans but not applied for during the previous year?

Under the LDC format used in Orleans, a decision to bring in Freed-Maxick to pursue what is owed Orleans County has presumably been the responsibility of the LDC Board for months now. Of course, the LDC “Board” doesn’t answer to the taxpayers!

Shouldn’t the purchase price of “The Villages of Orleans”if it is sold reflect any potential windfall from such reimbursements and private pay accounts receivable?

There may be a huge downside to letting an LDC Board decide who walks away with the “buy” of a lifetime.

Gary Kent
Albion

(Kent is a candidate for Orleans County Legislature, endorsed by the Democratic Party and also running under the independent “Save Our Nursing Home” party.)