2015 Frequently Asked Questions New Assisted Living Facility Newport Hospital & Health Services (Hospital District) is investigating community support to enhance residential care services by replacing our nursing home with a new assisted living facility using bonds paid for with a property tax levy. Tom Wilbur / Michele Page / Jenny Smith NHHS 4/14/2015 Frequently Asked Questions – Assisted Living Building Question Index: Why are you replacing the current nursing home? Is there anything wrong with our nursing home building? Why an assisted living facility and not a new nursing home? Will the level of care change for our loved ones (our residents)? What happens to the current nursing home residents? What is the cost difference between assisted living and nursing home services? Why does it cost so much less for assisted living than nursing home services? Can you provide the same services in an assisted living at a lower cost than in a nursing home? How long is my loved one allowed to live at the new assisted living facility? Why are you investigating a taxpayer bond? What if the bond doesn’t pass? What would the potential bond cost me - as a property owner? Why are you building a clinic building and not a residential care facility, first? Are both buildings necessary, right now? What is cost and proposed development schedule for the new buildings? How long will our nursing home building continue to be viable (# of years)? What will happen to the nursing home facility? Is there any guarantee that if my loved one needs to enter, there will be room available in the new assisted living facility? Will home health be able to come to the new facility and provide services? How do Assisted Living Facility residents get to the hospital for appointments? Page 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 Page 1 Frequently Asked Questions – Assisted Living Building Q. - Why are you replacing the current nursing home? Answer: Our desire is to serve our elderly population with a focus on life, dignity, and comfort. We no longer feel we can provide the expected level of service in our existing building. We opened our nursing home in 1967 and have maintained it well for over 45 years, but it no longer meets consumer/market expectation or community need. Q. - Is there anything wrong with our nursing home building? Answer: Technically, no. However, we have rooms with multiple beds (2 and 4 person) and communal bathrooms with little privacy in an outdated building. Our elderly residents deserve better. Our building would not meet new building codes for nursing home or assisted living facilities and there is no feasible way to upgrade the building – we have to start over. Q. - Why an assisted living facility and not a new nursing home? Answer: Two reasons: 1) over the last 15 years, there has been a shift in demand from nursing home to assisted living care due to building/service amenities and the environment of care; and 2) the high cost of care for nursing home services. Simply put, new assisted living facilities offer similar care and many more services and amenities than the nursing homes of thirty years ago, at a much lower cost. Q. - Will the level of care change for our residents and loved ones? Answer: No. The amount of service/care will not change, only the environment of care will change. Our new building is expected to have three 18-room neighborhoods of care that contain the following: o o o o o A warm, comforting environment…less clinical feeling Personal storage/closet space Private bathrooms Private area to entertain family and friends One neighborhood will be specifically designed for memory (dementia) care Q. – What will happen to the residents currently residing in the nursing home? Answer: When the new building is complete, we would expect to move ALL of our existing nursing home residents into the new facility - offering the same level of care at a lower cost! Q. - What is the cost difference between assisted living and a nursing home services? Answer: Monthly service fee range for Assisted Living = Monthly service fee range for Nursing Home = $2,100 to $4,000 $5,500 to $8,500 This is one of the primary reasons why the State has reduced the number of nursing home beds over the past fifteen years [70 closures – reducing total beds from 29,000 to less than 21,000]. Page 2 Frequently Asked Questions – Assisted Living Building Q. - Why does it cost so much less for assisted living than nursing home services? Answer: The regulatory, building, and staffing requirements are different. Nursing homes typically have a much higher ratio of registered nurses to total staff due to the expected level of skilled nursing care that can be required for nursing home residents. Assisted living facilities also have registered nurses to treat and oversee care, but have a much higher ratio of certified nurse’s aides for daily care. Our reality is that nearly all of our current nursing home residents would qualify for assisted living services – if we had more assisted living beds available. The need for true skilled nursing (nursing home) care is really quite low in our community. At present, and as we will into the future, we treat those in need of skilled nursing care in our hospital acute care unit. Q. – Can you provide the same services in an assisted living at a lower cost than in a nursing home? Answer: Yes! As noted above, the services we provide today in our nursing home are similar to services that you might receive in an assisted living facility that is designed and staffed to treat residents that need a higher level of care. Our service level of care will not change, only our environment of care is expected to change. Q. – How long will my loved one be allowed to live at the new assisted living facility? Answer: For as long as we can continue to meet your loved one’s needs. Our goal is to operate a facility to allow residents to “age in place,” up to and including end of life care. Only if a resident requires advanced “skilled nursing” care will they be temporarily transferred to a hospital setting. Q. - Why are you investigating a taxpayer bond? Answer: We are honored to serve the United States’ greatest generation in their time of greatest need; however, the service, standing on its own, simply does not generate sufficient cash flow to pay for a new building (or the debt service). Q. - What if the bond doesn’t pass? Answer: It will remain our honor to serve those in our community with residential care needs. We will continue to provide services in the current nursing home building for as long as we are able and the community and State is willing to pay for the service. Q. - What would the potential bond cost me - as a property owner? Answer: If you own real estate, the estimated cost is $0.58 (58 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value). 2015 District property values for a $9.5 million, twenty year bond, at 3.25% interest. Taxpayer Potential Return on Investment (assuming an avg. $200,000 assessed property value over the 20 year term of the bond) Added tax: $116/year – just under $10 a month… Based upon our current rates: If you or a loved one entered an assisted living (vs. a nursing home), your $2,320 (20 year total investment) could be recouped in one month, or less. Page 3 Frequently Asked Questions – Assisted Living Building Q. - Why are you building a clinic building and not a residential care facility, first? Answer: After much deliberation, it was determined that we had the funding capacity to build only one new building. Our choice boiled down to the capacity (to treat patients) and financial considerations. The clinic is our most essential community service - we serve more than 12,000 people in our clinics (nearly 30,000 yearly visits). For more than a decade we have needed to consolidate our clinics to gain efficiencies: ease of access, patient throughput, clinical care, and provider communication. It was simply not feasible to delay any longer. Q. - Are both buildings necessary, right now? Answer: This was a very difficult decision – we ultimately determined we had a Priority 1 (clinic) and Priority 1.a (assisted living) need. We felt both services are essential to our community and critical to the local economic vitality. We have witnessed a number of rural communities across the State close residential care services. In consideration of the future demand that will be required to serve our aging population, we felt that was a short sighted view. Q. - What is the cost and proposed development schedule for the new buildings? Answer: The clinic is in design. Our goal is to bid the work and start construction in the Fall-2015 in order to have the clinic complete in the Fall-2016. The cost of the building and ground work is estimated to be $5.0 million. For the assisted living facility, if all goes as planned, we will pass a bond levy in Nov, 2015, start design in the Spring-2016, and complete construction in the Fall-2018. The anticipated cost of the building is approx. $10.0 million. Q. - How long will our nursing home building continue to be viable (# years)? Answer: We will continue to maintain our buildings and services at the highest level possible for as long as we can. The State (and the potential budget implications for the cost of care) will have a greater impact on our ability to keep our service going. And, as noted above, on our current schedule we will not have a new facility operational until the latter half of 2018. Q. - What will happen to the nursing home facility? Answer: Our plan is to convert this space into a different business use – predominantly office space. Q. - Is there any guarantee that if my loved one needs to enter, there will be room available in the new assisted living facility? Answer: Just as it is today, there is no guarantee. Availability for residential care is determined on a firstcome, first-serve basis. We do maintain waiting lists to notify you if a vacancy occurs. Q. - Will home health be able to come to the new facility and provide services? Answer: Yes. Assisted living is considered a home setting and we can accommodate the service. As noted above, we plan to build a facility that will allow residents to age in place and bring support services to their home. Page 4 Frequently Asked Questions – Assisted Living Building Q. - How do Assisted Living Facility residents get to the hospital for appointments? Answer: As part of our current service package we offer transportation to residents via our van. Some folks have family who provide transportation and some services (home health) can be received in our building. Page 5 Extending our assisted living community…continuing a legacy of comfort, dignity and LIFE.
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