Minutes of the Valley Hi Consultant’s Presentation

These draft minutes offer another version of the outside consultant’s presentation to the Valley Hi Operating Board last week:  McHenry County Blog’s take can be found here.

WIPFLI Market Analysis Presentation and Discussion – Mike Edwin

Mr. Annarella introduced Mike Edwin from WIPFLI noting that Mr. Edwin was responsible for the Valley Hi market study that was about to be presented and turned the presentation over to Mr. Edwin.

Mr. Edwin gave a brief introduction on WIPFLI and his role within the company and then went through his Power Point presentation with the joint groups.

He identified areas within McHenry County and Valley Hi in which there were service gaps and opportunities to fill those gaps by either utilizing existing Valley Hi space or working on development of the campus whether by the County or through partnerships.

During his presentation there was some discussion on what would happen to people if there were not enough beds in McHenry County or an unmet inventory need noting that they would either be forced to move out of the County or look at alternative care options such as home health care.

Also discussed was what would happen to those seniors needing Medicaid assistance and the potential lack of Medicaid beds.

There was also discussion about the Illinois Supportive Living Program noting that the program was closed for new applicants even though there was a large demand for the level of services and it could potentially save the State Medicaid dollars.

There was some discussion about private rooms versus shared occupancy rooms from the perspective of desirability and revenues.

It was noted that private rooms were especially desired by those seeking Medicare Part A services and the private pay market.

Ms. Kurtz, from the Public Health and Human Services Committee initiated a discussion about dementia care and services.

She inquired about market share loss if Valley Hi did not act on the study’s findings of a need for dementia care services and asked about a cost benefit analysis comparing different business models to provide services to meet the identified service gap.

Mr. Edwin indicated that one would need to be done if desired.

There was a discussion about different partnerships and model possibilities to meet the potential future needs.

Mr. Rein, from the Public Health and Human Services Committee, inquired about the bed mix, the wait list, and the Medicare beds.

Mr. Annarella reminded the group that the case mix was established by the County Board at 80/20/20 and detailed how that broke down.

Mr. Annarella also noted how the prospective resident list worked and some of the challenges with maintaining the list.

It was also noted that the whole facility was licensed for Medicaid and Medicare so any bed within the license can be used by the various pay source options giving staff a lot of flexibility with resident rooms.

Valley Hi

Valley Hi

Mr. Walkup, from the McHenry County Board, asked about challenges due to the location of the building and the challenge of expanding services.

Mr. Edwin noted that Valley Hi has been able to fight off the issue of location due to its reputation within the community for quality care.

Mr. Walkup inquired about issues with location related to any potential sale of Valley Hi to which Mr. Edwin indicated he did not research the market rate for selling Valley Hi but noted that there would be potential buyers.

Ms. Kurtz, from the Public Health ad Human Services Committee, indicated that she disagreed with Mr. Walkup’s comments about selling Valley Hi.

She discussed the aging population in McHenry County and that she did not understand why there was any discussion about selling Valley Hi.

Ms. Dreimann, from the Valley Hi Operating Board, spoke about the unpredictable future in health care and the need to spread risk and exploring options to do that.

Chairman Kennedy, from the Valley Hi Operating Board, inquired if there were any County nursing homes without a tax levy.

Mr. Edwin indicated that he was not aware of any in Illinois that did not have some level of a tax levy.

Mr. Austin led a discussion on County nursing homes.

Mr. Annarella added to the discussion by explaining different ways County Homes were set up and operated.

Mr. Wheeler, from both the Operating Board and Public Health and Human Services Committee, asked about the tax levy.

A discussion was held about different tax levy scenarios recalling the Sustainability Tool that was developed to run the various tax levy, case mix, and revenue scenarios to assist in future discussions.

Chairman Kennedy, from the Operating Board, asked about any issues filling the Valley Hi beds.

Mr. Annarella noted that there were no concerns and talked about how a census periodically moves up and down based on admissions, discharges, and hospitalizations.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there house was ever 100% occupied.

Mr. Annarella indicated that it has been, but only for a day or two here or there due to the constant census changes.

He noted that the facility averaged an occupancy over 95% daily noting that it was far above the industry and area average occupancy.

It was further noted that some Medicare admissions had been lost to other providers due to the non-private rooms.

Chairwoman McCann talked about the report’s finding of the need to expand the Medicare therapy room. A discussion about potential changes was held.

Terry Egan, from Hearthstone Communities expressed a concern about Valley Hi competing with the private industry and wanting a better understanding of the mindset of expanding markets.

Mr. Walkup, from the McHenry County Board, stated that he wanted to explore a higher Medicaid case mix in response to Mr. Egan’s question.

Chairman Kennedy spoke about the sustainability discussion using the tool that was developed and the impact of increasing the Medicaid case mix without looking at tax levy increases.

Chairman Kennedy, from the Valley Hi Operating Board, closed the discussion with a reminder of the Valley Hi tax levy noting that it had been lowered each budget year since the formation of the Operating Board until this past year when it was abated.

He noted that the Operating Board was monitoring things that were occurring within the State and Nationally and being careful not to lower the levy too quickly.

He spoke about the impact of the negative comments from people about Valley Hi on the staff and residents.

Chairman Kennedy spoke about his vision and direction for the Capital Improvement and Asset Preservation Plan which would be discussed further and ongoing each month.

He noted that Valley Hi was not looking to compete directly with private industry, but needed to survive to take care of the Medicaid population in McHenry County, a group the private industry is not rushing to care for.

He referenced the Executive Summary of the study and the comment about

  • partnerships
  • the potential to build out the lower area
  • improv[ing] the therapy gym space
  • the use of other spaces within the organization for different purposes.

He closed his comments by saying that he wanted to work together with the other providers in the area as well as the Public Health and Human Services Committee to address some of the service gaps identified within the report.

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