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Moran\’s Home shutdown affects dozens of residents and employees

The pending closing announced by Moran’s Home in Bellwood earlier this week will affect dozens of residents and employees.
Lee Ann Kaminski, the long-term care facility’s administrator, updated The Daily Herald on the pending shutdown during the start of a busy day on Friday. She also detailed some of the reasons that led to the decision.
“Over the last couple of years, there have been changes in the welfare/Medicaid system for long-term care,” said Kaminski. “None of it with a positive outcome.
“One of the major changes was (with) the payment system,” said Kaminski. “They initiated (it) in April. Instead of paying us within 14 days of when we billed for a Medicaid patient they decided to hold our payment for 30 days after processing our claim.
“Just to give you a for instance, our Medicaid check for the month of October came in on Dec. 11,” said Kaminski.
“I’ve been in this building for 20 years and I’ve lived the changes; I’ve seen the changes,” explained Kaminski. “Every time a budget comes out, whether it’s state or federal, we sit here and hold our breath to wait and see what kind of cuts we are going to take. This has happened over and over in long-term care.
“As we look forward, the balanced budget act that is coming into effect in January is really going to hurt some Medicaid elderly residents making them ineligible for payments,” said Kaminski.
She also noted she just learned of regulations that would require her to retrofit the facility with a full sprinkler system without any funding to do it. She explained this has been a growing trend where facilities face new regulations but are unable to get the funding to comply so they end up having to pay for the costs themselves.
“It’s impossible to do business this way when everything is out of your hands,” said Kaminski.
She said she was “extremely thankful” to nursing homes that contacted her within 24 hours of this week’s announcement. The homes, mostly local, told her they had available beds. Some facilities outside the area also offered beds on a temporary basis.
Kaminski said the families of the residents were informed of their options regarding where residents can be moved. As of Friday morning, Kaminski said their were 13 confirmed admissions to other facilities.
“All were the first choice of the family member,” said Kaminski. So, we are able, at this point, to meet the resident’s choice for placement.”
In the skilled building, there were still around 30 residents as of Friday. Kaminski said no one had been moved yet from the personal care home as of Friday morning.
The state’s Department of Health was given a Jan. 11 closing date, however Kaminski explained the facility may remain open for a time beyond that date.
“We had to give the Department of Health some sort of termination date,” said Kaminski.
She explained she believed the residents could be moved within 30 days. However, if the process is not completed by then Kaminski said the facility would continue to operate and some staff would stay to continue to care for any remaining residents until they can be relocated.
Kaminski said more than 50 employees would be affected by the closing of Moran’s Home.