Nursing Home Ownership Up In The Air

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SCHUYLKILL HAVEN -- For the first time since 2005, Rest Haven nursing home in Schuylkill Haven is at full capacity.

The problem is that the nursing home is still not making money and is actually costing the county instead.

Now Schuylkill County commissioners are looking at their options.

Rest Haven nursing home has been operating under the control of Schuylkill County since the early 1900s. But now Schuylkill County commissioners say the nursing home is getting too expensive for the taxpayers to maintain.

This week, they loaned Rest Haven another $750,000.

"We have a lot of responsibilities and we're trying to run the county as fiscally responsible as possible and that is part of what we have to look at, that is part of our charge to do what is best for the tax payers and citizens of this county," said Commissioner George Halcovage/(R)Schuylkill County.

Commissioners say the nursing home has actually lost money the past two years.

According to county paper work, it cost about $172 a day for each resident at Rest Haven. Medicaid only pays $50 a day for 85 percent of the residents. That adds up to a $2 million loss a year.

"Now the bed count is up to its capacity, which is good, but even at full capacity, we're still having troubles because of our reimbursements," explained Commissioner Gary Hess/ (D) Schuylkill County.

Those who live at Rest Haven say they love their home.

"Nursing is very, very good. They take wonderful care of me," said Barbara Krier.

Residents at Rest Haven say no matter what happens, they hope things stay the same there, especially the activities.

"I love activities!"

"Things you have to do in the activities department can make a long day short," said Dolores Verse.

While the commissioners explore options they say, no matter what happens financially, the quality of care for the 142 Rest Haven residents is still top priority.

"We want to make sure through whatever goes down the line that his continues to be a good facility and also to make sure the residents are the number one issue on there."

Schuylkill County commissioners tell Newswatch 16 they are not sure when or even if they will sell Rest Haven, but say that closing the facility is not an option.

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