The Coffey Health System Board of Trustees voted at its November 19 meeting to discontinue its nursing home services. A motion by Jim Ochs, Gridley, to “get out of the long-term care business” was seconded by Gene Merry, Burlington, and passed by a 4-2 margin.
"We cannot stress enough that there will be no immediate action affecting Sunset Manor in Waverly,” said CHS Chief Executive Officer Karen Smith. “Quite to the contrary, any action will be gradual. We have not analyzed our options and determined a course of action, but we know that—first and foremost—we have a moral obligation to our staff and to the residents and families who have placed their trust with Coffey Health System.”
Sunset Manor is licensed as the long-term care unit of Coffey County Hospital, and employs between 55 and 60 full-time and part-time staff.
“This process will take time,” Smith said. “Until we can formulate an acceptable plan of action, nothing will change at Sunset Manor. Our residents will continue to receive the level of care that recently earned the facility a spotless inspection by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services.”
Financial revenue and maintenance costs led to the board’s action. The facility was constructed in 1977 and purchased by Coffey Health System in 1997.
“There is no denying that we have an aging building, and with that comes mounting repair and maintenance costs,” Smith said. “Other factors include uncertainty in Medicare reimbursements and legislative initiatives regarding nursing home care.”
The board’s action does not affect Coffey Health System’s assisted living facility, The Meadows, located in Burlington.
The CHS Board of Trustees consists of John Hetzel, chairman, LeRoy; Merlin Williams, Larry Gales, Polly Epting, Glenn German, Angela Trimble, and Gene Merry, Burlington; Jim Ochs and Arnold Kraft, Gridley. CHS trustees are appointed by the Coffey County Commission and serve three-year terms.
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