Arkansas Vets Home Gets $1.8M Boost; New Beds Gain Approval in Florida

Arkansas Veterans Home Receives $1.8M Subsidy

After operating at a deficit for more than a year and a half, an Arkansas skilled nursing facility for veterans finally received a $1.8 million boost.

Legislators last week approved a call from the governor to send the funds to the Arkansas State Veterans Home in North Little Rock, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The money comes from the state’s “rainy day” fund, and supplements a previous $1.4 million payment aimed at boosting the facility’s operations.

The 96-bed facility was one of the first nursing homes for veterans in the United States built to accommodate the so-called “small house” model, a relatively newer design for SNFs and other senior-care facilities that divides residents into more intimate individual “homes.” In the case of the Arkansas State Veterans Home, residents live in one of eight “Hero Homes,” or small cottages.

That design in part contributed to the facility’s financial woes, the Democrat-Gazette reported, due to greater staffing needs and higher costs. The building opened in 2013 after the closure of an older facility, with an initial price tag of $24 million.

Operator Shuffle in Small Illinois Town

Accolade Healthcare is set to close one of its nursing homes in Paxton, Ill., but residents will have multiple options if they want to stay local.

Moe Freedman, who owns the nursing home operator, is in the process of buying the Heartland Health Care Center and has already picked up the nearby Paxton Accolade Healthcare, according to a report in the local Paxton Record. As a result, residents can pick from two new potential providers when the Accolade Healthcare of Paxton closes in November.

Accolade currently controls 250 licensed beds across the three sites, the Record noted, but demand in the small town didn’t match the supply: On average, 100 of those total beds were empty.

“The city hasn’t had more than 170 residents, on average, in the past 10 years,” Freedman told the paper.

The owner also blamed familiar pressures when justifying the one closure.

“You see the climate of nursing homes, where a lot of them are shutting down because of financial distress,” Freedman said. “This is the climate that we are in with [state Medicaid] payments, and it wasn’t staying viable from a staffing perspective to reimbursements.”

State OKs Bed Boost in Florida

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration approved two nursing home expansions last week after verifying a pair of certificate of need (CON) applications.

Premier Living Centers received the go-ahead to establish 39 nursing home beds in Seminole County, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, while Conway Lakes Health and Rehabilitation Center in Orange County was approved for 18 more beds.

Written by Alex Spanko

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Alex Spanko
Alex covers the long-term health care industry for Aging Media Network, with a specific interest in the intersection of finance and policy. Outside of work, he reads nonfiction, experiments in the kitchen, yells at Mets games, and enjoys pretty much any type of whiskey or scotch — often all at the same time.

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