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County nursing home touts transition

County nursing home touts transition
County nursing home touts transition | County nursing home touts transition
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
New things are on the horizon at the Obion County Nursing Home.
The county-owned facility has made the transition to skilled care — which will be a benefit to patients, the nursing home and Obion County as a whole, according to administrator Tom Reddick.
Being a skilled care facility will mean more services for both short-term and long-term patients with the offering of physical, occupational and speech therapies on site, as well as additional jobs that will benefit the county.
“Hopefully, this will be a financial benefit to not just the nursing home, but Obion County as well,” Reddick said.
The 56-bed Obion County Nursing Home on East County Home Road near Union City is owned by the county and is overseen by a seven-member board of directors.
The facility offers long-term care and, with the transition to skilled care, the additional therapy services will also be available to those long-term patients.
Reddick explained the change will give people who qualify for services an opportunity to pay through Medicare Part A. While the county nursing home offered therapy before, the facility was never paid for therapy and never previously billed Medicare.
“It’s financially advantageous because if they can come in and they qualify for Medicare Part A, the first 20 days are paid by Medicare and up to the next 80 days, a large portion is paid by Medicare and the other portion can be paid by secondary insurance, which is Medicaid, so they can get up to 100 days free that they don’t have to pay anything out of pocket,” he said. “It’s very advantageous to them.”
Reddick said the transition to skilled care will benefit the nursing home in the form of additional staff — which, in turn, means more jobs for Obion County.
“We can add jobs that have never been out here before, so we can add additional jobs to the county. I’m excited about that,” he said. “The county needs the jobs and we can add the work. Financially, we can afford more jobs and we hope to expand. So we can offer services, better care, more jobs and, financially, it’s a good decision for us, too.”
Reddick said more hours have already been added for some staff members and staff will be added as needed as the census picks up. The facility currently has 42 patients and about 50 full- and part-time staff members.
Aegis Therapies will be in charge of therapy services and the facility is currently revamping and adding equipment to its therapy room. Speech therapist Heather Bavido is the rehab manager and will oversee all therapies.
Reddick said Aegis comes highly recommended and is very professional, adding the agency will also supply additional jobs for the area.
“I think they’ll do a great job of staffing,” he said.
Most nursing home facilities in the nation are already skilled, according to Reddick, who said there are probably only a handful of facilities in Tennessee which aren’t skilled.
“Almost all patients going into nursing homes now are skilled (care),” he said.
He said the transition to skilled care is a big step for the Obion County Nursing Home and marks the completion of a very lengthy process.
Reddick said Obion County can be proud of its nursing home, which has been financially independent for many years. He has been administrator for nearly eight years and he said he has tried to improve on an outstanding facility that saw many positive improvements under his predecessor, former administrator Marietta Hardy.
“The nursing home was in great shape when I got here as far as patient care,” he said, explaining he has tried to add to the excellence with some modern upgrades and remodeling, as well as the additional services.
Reddick said the county nursing home’s staff includes many long-term employees and they strive to create a family atmosphere for their patients. He said the standards are high and the work is not easy for those special people called into the nursing home profession.
He said he enjoys the small nursing home’s close-knit environment, which allows for the residents, their families and the staff to get to know one another.
“It’s not home, but we try to make it as close as it can be,” he added.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 1.8.13

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