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McLean County Board Approves Road Map For Nursing Home Changes

Carleigh Gray
McLean County Board members have decided to begin work on stemming red ink at the county nursing home.

The McLean County Board on Tuesday overwhelmingly signed on to recommendations for the county's nursing home developed by a special panel of experts from the community.
That includes efficiency moves, efforts to create partnerships, and to harvest more federal dollars for the service to the elderly.

The lone vote against moving ahead was George Wendt, who said he wants to close the nursing home down because he doesn't believe the aging facility is sustainable.

"It's going to be almost impossible to even break even once we have to build a new nursing home," said Wendt.

County Board member Lori Wollrab said Wendt is wrong about the private sector taking up county nursing home residents. She said commercial nursing homes often refuse to take Medicaid patients.

"Yes, patients can go to private entities. But private entities really don't want Medicaid patients. They can't make money on them," said Wollrab.

Wendt said the nursing home should be closed immediately.

The nursing home lost $1.2 million last year. But a special blue ribbon panel composed of healthcare leaders in the community prepared a report for the board that suggests a number of short, medium, and long-term moves to stem the red ink.

The panel concluded the nursing home is sustainable as a long-term service.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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