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By Carol Kincaid
All Board Members, the Administrator, and legal counsel were present at the June 20 regular board meeting of the Knox county Nursing Home District.
It was noted that occupancy has remained steady in the nursing home portion of the facility, leading to a profit. However, the residential care section is currently running at a break-even mark because of a decrease in occupancy due to deaths and transfers to the nursing home.
To update the Board on HB 952, brought up at the last meeting, Administrator Tim Schrage explained how the bill deals with fire safety requirements as pertains to fire alarm systems, smoke detection systems, and sprinkler systems. He said that the bill has a number of changes in the regulations effecting the nursing home and the RCF. He said that an RCF with a census of 20 or more must be “sprinkled” by 2012. No action was taken at this time by the Board.
With the census of the Knox County RCF historically averaging 15 to 17 residents, Admn. Schrage expressed the opinion that this regulation may not apply if the licensure is changed. He later expressed some concerns that the existing (original) fire suppressant system in the nursing home may need either updates, or worst case scenario, replacement. The system is approximately 30 years old, and Admn. Schrage said that most comparable systems are replaced at 15 years. He added the fact that the system has always passed inspection.
Admn. Schrage presented health insurance options. After much discussion, the Board agreed to go with United Healthcare.
Under new business, the Administrator shared the fact that HB 10, which had passed the House and Senate, and was to give a Medicaid rate increase for nursing facilities, was vetoed by the Governor.
He also told Board members the Federal Minimum Wage was to increase gradually over the next three years and stated the District will need to begin to plan for this change.
It was reported that one of the facility’s washing machines has had to have several repairs in the last couple of years. Though both are working at the present time, he was concerned that the Board should consider replacing one of them in the near future so they are not caught in the position of being unable to do laundry.
Prior to adjournment, Admn. Schrage noted that the facility had recently had their annual state inspection and that he was awaiting final report on any deficiencies. He then reported on the status of the new van, which had been ordered and necessary repairs to the building which are needing to be dealt with.