The Journal Register (Medina, NY)


October 14, 2013

Letter: Villages may not be a money loser after all

Medina Journal-Register — The Villages may not be a money loser after all

Other than an invaluable, CMS-rated four-star quality skilled nursing facility, what else would Orleans County taxpayers be giving up should our county nursing home be sold?

We know that we would be giving up an intergovernmental transfer benefit of $1 million to $ 2 million a year. 

We would be losing the space presently occupied by the county Health Department and The Board of Elections. 

We would be handing over to any new owner the income potential of the “A” and “B” wings and — at a minimum price of $5.5 million — a 1995 space that is still in great condition. This accounting does not include $10 million invested in space and infrastructure upgrades in 2007.

It turns out there may be more.

According to published accounts, Genesee County lawmakers, elected by Genesee County voters, hired Freed-Maxick Health Solutions to recover millions in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements owed to Genesee County’s nursing home for the past year. To recover some $5.2 million, Genesee authorized the expenditure of no more than $50,000. According to the news accounts, such an effort must be made within one year of a billable service being provided to a nursing home resident.

Likewise, Freed-Maxick has been retained to “capture” outstanding private pay accounts receivable in Genesee County.

Reportedly, Genesee lawmakers already recovered $500,000 by spending $37,500.  If so, that is a refreshingly “businesslike” approach.

The reports raise obvious questions for Orleans County taxpayers. Does Orleans have a similar time-sensitive billing mess on its hands? If so, what are we doing to recover what is owed the taxpayers of Orleans County? Would any new owner of The Villages of Orleans be able to “capture” reimbursements and accounts receivable owed to Orleans, but not applied for, during the previous year?

Under the local development corporation format used in Orleans, a “due diligence” decision to bring in Freed-Maxick to pursue what is owed Orleans County has presumably been the responsibility of the LDC board for months now. Of course, the LDC “board” doesn’t answer to the taxpayers!

Shouldn’t the purchase price of The Villages of Orleans, if it is sold, reflect any potential windfall from such reimbursements and private pay accounts receivable?

There may be a huge downside to letting an LDC board decide who walks away with the “buy” of a lifetime.

Gary Kent


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