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State finally paying past-due Nursing Home expenses, but it's not enough and it won't last

New York will finally pay off some of their IOUs to the county.

County Treasurer Scott German learned Tuesday that $4.1 million in funds meant to cover 2013 Nursing Home expenses will be transferred to the county Aug. 13.

That's the good news. We'll get to the bad news shortly.

The $4.1 million is what is known as an Inter-Governmental Transfer. It's money that originates with the federal government and sent to the states so the states can transfer it to county governments that run nursing homes. The money is meant to help offset the difference in reimbursement fees between Medicaid and Medicare (it's more complicated than that, but that's the easy explanation).

In June, the county received $4.3 million in back IGT payments from 2012.

Of the $8.4 million IGT received, the taxpayers of Genesee County paid an amount equal to 50 percent, or $4.2 million, as a local match.

But that isn't all of the bad news.

County Manager Jay Gsell said the feds are phasing out the IGT program. The Aug. 13 payment is probably one of the last two or three the county will ever receive.

No program has been announced to replace it.

Once there's no IGT -- and if there's no program to replace it -- the local share cost of running the Genesee County Nursing Home will likely be at least $3 million a year, and that figure is growing each year, German said. The operating deficit will need to be funded by local taxpayers.

Of the $4.3 million received in June, $2 million went into the general fund to pay off money the Nursing Home borrowed from the general fund.

Some of that IGT money will be used to pay off a $5.8 million Revenue Anticipation Note (RAN -- a short-term loan based on the promise of anticipated revenue).

The $4.1 million the county receives Aug. 13 should pay off the rest of the RAN, a loan that must be retired by November.

If for some reason, there is a shortfall, the county will either need money from the general fund or another loan, German said, to pay off this RAN.

But it's anticipated there will be a $200,000 surplus from the IGT payment, which will be gobbled up by Nursing Home expenses in short order. The county will then need to borrow more money to cover Nursing Home expenses with no guarantee the feds or the state will help with the expense at a later date.

The County Legislature met with an attorney today who is helping them explore options for dealing with the Nursing Home. The meeting was held in close session and was purely informational for the legislators, Gsell said.

Robert Brown
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State and Federal government has been "telling" us to get out of the nursing home business for years! It does not make sense to have a government managed nursing home today and that's yesterday's news. Two studies have been funded with local taxpayer money to do what? Oh yeah, to borrow more money, to increase taxes, to hire additional billing consulting services, and to continue running over budget. The 2014 Legislature promised in January to undertake a 6 month review of the County home and to deliver a workable plan. I must have blinked and missed it.

Privatize the home, merge it with UMMC, or do anything but continually increase the burden on the property tax paying public. Stop dancing around the issue and put forth a plan to succeed - our County Legislature was elected to solve this problem years ago! Stop waffling and take action...

Gary Spencer
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"County Treasurer Scott German learned Tuesday that $4.1 in funds meant to cover 2013 Nursing Home expenses will be transferred to the county Aug. 13."
$4.1 does not go far at all these days!!!!!!

Billie Owens
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Very funny. Fixed.

Ed Hartgrove
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This post is a good (but, simple?) example of just how screwed up our government has become.

"A" needs to pay its bills. But, "A" doesn' t have enough money. So, they tell "B" that they need help.
"B" says, "Sure, we can do that, but, we will need to use (some) money from D, and the remainder from "E" and "F".

Of course, "E" has its own restrictions on what they can/cannot do (by law, of course).
And "F" has NO money at all, but can "dip into" its pool of money it's holding for "G", so long as it's paid back before such-and-such a date.

Tell me that kind of thinking isn't a recipe for disaster. It's no different than the old, "Well, I HAD to pay the car payment (so you could get to work). So I took the money we saved for rent, and will have to tell the landlord we'll be aweek late this month. And so on,and on, and ..." - Can you say Social Security insolvency?

The gov't is, slowly but surely, becoming the penultimate Uber-Bernie Madoff. And, personally, I doubt anyone can stop it.

Don Patterson
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This is such a bunch of crap. This business of the federal government passing money it owes to the counties through the state is ridiculous. New York State government has got to be the most corrupt in America.

Dave Olsen
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"County Manager Jay Gsell said the feds are phasing out the IGT program." Not a surprise.

"The operating deficit will need to be funded by local taxpayers."
again - not a surprise

None of this should be a surprise, what have the legislators been doing while receiving 9G per year? Do any of them have a modicum of a clue about what to do?
How long has this been a problem? At least since 2002.

I will echo my friend Bob above: Stop dancing around the issue and deal with it. NOW

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