Borough Mayor John WIlliams presents CPGH officials with a check for Heritage Place Nursing Home.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough has added a Nursing Home to its publicly owned medical care facilities. At a recent contract signing ceremony Heritage Place Nursing Home was added to the Borough’s properties for the sum of just one dollar less than a million dollars. For the last twenty years Heritage Place has been owned by different privately held medical care providers, “It’s not unusual across the country to see borough or county governments enter into issues of health care and in our case, we already are in the health care business being the public owners of the Central Peninsula General Hospital and the South Peninsula Hospital, so Heritage Place falls in line with what we are doing and it will also be more economical for CPGH to run Heritage Place then it was as a stand alone facility because of shared costs, management and operations, and it becomes a financial asset to all of us as well,” said Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John Williams.
According to Williams the facility was not at risk of closing but when the opportunity arose for the purchase it was a sound economic choice, “Someone else may have come forward to run it, but the economics of it were much better for the Borough to run it because when the Borough runs it through the hospital there are shared Medicaid and Medicare payments made at a higher level through the hospital,” explained Williams. While the Borough is the official owner the residents of the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area will assume any tax increases should their be any need for additional revenue in the future, “A second class borough does not have health care powers unless the people elect to take on those powers by creating a service area as they did in the Central and Southern peninsula. So Heritage Place will remain under the auspices of the Central Peninsula Service area board which is an elected group of officials that will oversee the Borough’s responsibilities and the hospital board which is a separate entity will oversee the day to day operations of both CPGH and Heritage Place,” explained Mayor Williams. Williams also pointed out that they do not anticipate any increase in the tax mil rate becoming necessary to operate Heritage Place, “The payments covered by Medicaid are generally set every three years or so at a level commensurate with the need for funding operating costs to run the facility,” said Williams adding that he was very pleased with the signing ceremony.
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