COOPERSTOWN – Centers Healthcare has advised the local Family Council it will scale back its April 1 increase in the “private payer” rate at its local nursing home (the former Focus) from $510 to $410 a day, Family Council chair Betsy Hayes has reported in an e-mail.
She said Aharon Lantzitsky, Centers division president, had just called her: “He wanted to assure me that Centers listened to our concerns and acted accordingly. I thanked him for listening to us and responding. I said the new fee seems a bit high but will wait to see what the community response is.”
News that Centers Health Care has raised the private-payer rate at the former county-owned Otsego Manor from $300 to $510 a day – $186,000 a year, the state’s highest – is almost too sad to contemplate.
Gary Koutnik, county board vice chairman and chair of the board’s Human Service Committee, reacted with the standard response: Since the once-excellent facility is privatized, what happens at Centers, nee Focus, is no longer the county board’s business.
That would not be satisfactory, except – given the Balkanized nature of the county board, 14 reps chosen from tiny constituencies – the county board can be non-responsive and get away with it.
Even given that reality, washing their collective 14 sets of hands is not satisfactory.
Within the bowels of county government, someone needs to develop expertise to do what can be done to ensure our elderly’s health needs are being met.
Right now, the only oversight at Centers is a volunteer family council.
Knowledge is power, and county government needs to assign someone to develop the knowledge to assure the least damage possible is done to the most vulnerable