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County Board raises Valley Hi private rates

WOODSTOCK – Daily room rates for private-pay residents at Valley Hi Nursing Home will increase by $5 next year.

The McHenry County Board voted Tuesday, 21-1, to approve the hike effective Jan. 1, to $215, $225 or $235 a day, depending on a patient's needed level of care. Twenty of the nursing home's 120-plus beds are reserved for private-pay residents, with the remainder paid through Medicare or Medicaid. The vast majority of the county-run nursing home's revenue comes from federal reimbursement and from a property-tax levy paid by county residents.

County Board member Nick Chirikos, D-Algonquin, cast the sole opposing vote.

"We ought to do all in our power to keep this facility as affordable as possible," Chirikos said.

Valley Hi Administrator Tom Annarella responded that the home's rates are cheaper than private homes in the area, and are all-inclusive – many nursing homes charge extra for things such as medication and services. He said Valley Hi's private-pay cost will remain below average even with the rate increase.

The County Board typically raises the private rates annually to adjust for inflation and health care costs.

- Kevin P. Craver

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