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June 9, 2004

Health Committee Recommends Sale of Fulton Nursing Home

The Oswego County Legislature's Health Committee voted this morning, June 14, to recommend selling the Andrew Michaud Nursing Home in Fulton to St. Luke's Health Services of Oswego. The full Legislature will vote on the recommendation at its July 15 meeting.

"The goal of the Legislature is to continue to provide the best possible care to our nursing home residents," said Health Committee chairman John Proud, District 7, Mexico. "The health committee diligently examined all proposals and interviewed those firms that submitted the best plans. The proposal from St. Luke's gave us the best balance in terms of all the issues that we dealt with -- the residents' care, the employees, and financial issues."

Legislator Proud noted that the Legislature made it clear that "favorable consideration" would be given to proposals that positively address continued employment of the nursing home staff and continued care of current residents.

"The proposal from St. Luke's meets those criteria," he said. "St. Luke's is a local organization with a good track record in our community."

The Andrew Michaud Nursing Home employs 105 persons, including 85 full-time and 20 part-time positions. The facility has 89 beds and operates at 99 percent capacity.

Legislators said economic factors that are out of the county's control have forced the county to consider selling the nursing home.

"The bottom line is that the daily reimbursement rate for Medicaid residents is about $40 less per day than the county's costs of providing care for individual residents," said Legislator Proud. "The county's reimbursement for Medicaid patients is based on a rate that was set in 1983. The rate may only be changed when there is a change of ownership or major renovations are made to the facility. Unfortunately, our costs are increasing at a higher rate than our revenues are increasing."

The sale requires a two-thirds vote of the County Legislature and approval of the New York State Department of Health.

Voting in favor of the sale were legislators Proud; Barbara Brown, District 8; Arthur Ospelt, District 12; and Leonard Ponzi, District 17. Legislator Douglas Malone, District 20, voted against the proposal. Legislator Francis Hoefer, District 19, attended Monday's meeting but was excused for a previous commitment before the voting took place.

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