County hires consulting firm to study Hillcrest Nursing Home
McCOOK, Neb. — At their weekly meeting Monday morning, Red Willow County commissioners hired an Omaha health care management and consulting firm to study operations at the county-owned Hillcrest Nursing Home.
Hillcrest has struggled financially for about five to six years, to a point where, in mid-2012, commissioners borrowed $1.1 million from McCook National Bank to pay construction and bond payments. Despite Hillcrest having taken other steps to improve the nursing home’s financial situation, commissioners have voiced frustration that things haven’t improved substantially.
Commission chairman Earl McNutt said this morning,” We need to know how to get Hillcrest back on track.” McNutt said that at the time of the loan, bank officials strongly recommended an extensive evaluation of the nursing home’s operations. He said that, about a year and a half ago, Community Hospital officials were approached about doing an assessment, but that study did not materialize.
McNutt said that, after he consulted county attorney Paul Wood recently, he visited with Klaasmeyer & Associates of Omaha about doing an assessment of Hillcrest. K&A offers management and consultant services for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and hospital and health services consultant services.
The Hillcrest study will be done the week of June 1, and will include an in-depth study of the entire operation of the 54-year-old nursing home.
The study will cost $6,000, which will be paid for from the county’s miscellaneous general fund.
“The county will pay for the study, not Hillcrest,” McNutt said.
“We want a totally unbiased study.”