If the Piatt County Nursing Home had not had any help from county board coffers, it would have basically broken even for the fiscal year that ended on Dec. 1, 2018, with expenses outpacing revenue by an estimated $2,361.

That was the word from accountant Kelly Finet, who gave a report to the nursing home committee on May 6.

But the official bottom line was better, as the county generally kicks in dollars for benefits such as pensions and health insurance.

If we add that back in as income, and the property tax levy of $221,000,” said Finet, “we’re in a positive of $602,043.”

Watching expenses, however, could mean less revenue from Medicaid. Room and hallway upgrades halted two years ago mean the Medicaid reimbursement rate is dropping.

If you spend X amount, they up Medicaid, because you’ve invested in the well being of your patients,” said Nursing Home Director Scott Porter.

Roof work and a new boiler purchased in recent months should help the reimbursement rate rebound in the future, but Porter was not sure when room renovations will resume.

We’re still paying back the (Nursing Home) Foundation,” he said of money borrowed to pay a backlog of bills shortly after he took over as director late in 2017. The nursing home has also paid back $217,000 in property tax dollars to the county that had been overlooked under Porter’s predecessor, and helped Maple Point Assisted Living with expenses through a $180,000 loan.

Finet said the nursing home has an $847,000 balance in its main operating account, but noted current liabilities including payroll and other ongoing bills could deplete that quickly.

Porter said the balance “is not a high number,” noting it reflects about two to three months of expenses at the facility.

More timely state reimbursements have helped cash flow at the nursing home.

Kitchen hood

An oven hood for the kitchen will be purchased for about $4,000. Porter said that came up as a deficiency in the nursing home’s annual survey, so necessitates immediate action. The hood will help expel moisture in the kitchen more efficiently.

Porter said he has received a bid of $11,250 to remove two trees in a hard-to-access area of the nursing home grounds. A crane will be used to remove the trees, and the cost includes grinding of the stumps.

County Board Chairman Ray Spencer told Spencer that he has been receiving positive comments about the nursing home from his constituents.

I get positive comments about the operation here from the public. That’s good to hear,” said Spencer.