Valley Hi private-pay rates rise

WOODSTOCK – Daily room rates for private-pay residents at Valley Hi Nursing Home will increase by $10.

The McHenry County Board on Tuesday voted 21-0 to approve the rates, which will increase to $210, $220 or $230 a day depending on a resident’s level of care. Valley Hi Administrator Tom Annarella called the increase a regular market correction.

“It still remains one of the lowest rates in the county,” Annarella said.

Twenty of the nursing home’s 128 beds are reserved for private-pay residents. Eighty are reserved for Medicare patients and 20 for Medicaid. The remaining eight are a mix. Most of the income for the county-run nursing home west of Woodstock comes from Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, and from a property tax levy paid by county residents.

The rate increases will take effect Dec. 1, the start of the county’s 2013 fiscal year. They come after a rate study concluded that the rates are below market in the area.

A study concluded that Valley Hi’s rates were below market in the area. The county went more than a decade without raising the private-pay rate until 2008, until a scathing audit revealed the nursing home was running in the red, minus the levy, for five consecutive years and had a $2 million deficit. It enacted three rate increases over 12 months to get private-pay rates close to the industry standard.

County Board members in 2007 ceded management of the home to an outside health care company with the goal of increasing revenue and reducing the deficit. The county reassumed control in early 2010.

Since then, Valley Hi has been overseen by a seven-member operating board chosen by the County Board, which maintains responsibility for the home’s budget.

What it means

The McHenry County Board on Tuesday voted, 21-0, to increase the daily rates for private-pay residents by $10, effective Dec. 1. Daily rates will be set to $210, $220 or $230 a day, depending on a resident’s level of care.

Twenty of the 128 beds at the county-owned and -operated nursing home are reserved for private-pay residents.

Not present for the vote were Virginia Peschke, R-Woodstock; Anna May Miller, R-Cary; and Mary McCann, R-Woodstock.

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