January 18, 2006

Rock Island County OKs site along John Deere road for new location of nursing home

This is a welcome sign. Oak Glenn Home has done a very good job with what they've had to work with, but the current building is far too old and continued attempts to keep it up to standards are a losing proposition. A new facility will undoubtedly provide much improved conditions for the elderly and those needing nursing care and who depend on the county to provide it. Kudos to the county for making this a priority.
A nearly seven-acre site south of John Deere Road in Moline received preliminary approval Tuesday as the location for a new Rock Island County-owned nursing home.

The Rock Island County board approved a resolution to offer to buy the site, west of Farm and Fleet and east of 53rd Street. The land is priced at $1.1 million, human services committee chairwoman Karen Calvillo, D-Rock Island, said.

The new nursing home would replace Oak Glen Home, near Coal Valley. The county was cited for a number of life safety violations at the building during an Illinois Department of Public Health inspection last summer.

Much of the work required to bring the building up to code has been completed, but doing all the work would cost about $250,000. The inspection spurred discussion of building a new, more centrally located nursing home.


At 1/19/2006 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Rock Island County in the nursing home business? Should this be a function of government? Are the taxpayers of Rock Island county subsidizing the facility? Counties used to operate "poor farms" that housed the elderly, infirm and even children that had no other place to go. When other agencies were created to take care of the less fortunate, the poor farm disappeared and was replaced by a nursing home. All privately owned nursing homes accept public aid patients, so why does the county still operate a nursing home?

At 1/19/2006 7:56 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I think you answered your own question. It's always been a function of county, and for that matter, township, and state, governments to provide for the less fortunate or those in dire need.

I'm sure the facts concerning the source of the county nursing home's income is rather complex, with probably a mix of patient's funds, state and perhaps federal funding. I don't have access to how each patient pays for their care, but I for one have no problem with the county administrating this important facility.

What the city and other government entities pay a "consultant" outfit to tell them the obvious could provide for the care of several needy elderly or handicapped people. I'd much rather my tax dollars be spent on this good purpose than squandered on other dubious purposes.

At 1/19/2006 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But should it be a function of government if private enterprise offers the same services? As I mentioned, all privately owned facilities accept public aid patients. Fifteen years ago, Whiteside County proposed selling its county-owned nursing home. Dire predictions were made about the welfare of residents and staff. The home was sold to an experienced private nursing home operator who renovated and expanded the home into a first class facility. No one was evicted; public aid and private pay residents are both welcome. And taxpayers in whiteside County are no longer responsible for its upkeep.

At 1/19/2006 8:37 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Hmmm. I see what you're saying, though I'd like to look at the situation where counties have handed over their nursing facilities to private operators before I'd endorse that.

But why stop there? It's such a good idea, why not just apply that philosophy to everything government does?

First, let's hand over the libraries, public health clinics, roads departments, and police departments to corporations who would do a better job for less.

And don't you think private companies could handle our water supply much better? Our bridges and highways, the safety of our medications, food, water, and air? Our elections? They'd do a much better job running our national, state, and county parks wouldn't they? Sure, the fees would go through the roof, but hey, the market is God and can do no wrong.

For that matter, why not just hire a huge corporation to run our schools? (already tried and failed) Why not have a corporation run our jails and prisons? (Already being done with horrible consequences) Why not contract with CopCo International, say, to provide our police protection? (Already hiring corporations to provide mercenarys for "security" services in Iraq, one of which was the source of a 'trophy video" showing them shooting Iraqi's indescriminately)

Why not let a pharmaceutical giant be in charge of testing drugs for safety?

And how about having industry representives in charge of environmental protection? Oooops. That's already going on and the environment is being massively damaged.

We could hire a company to ensure our food is safe and uncontaminated, employ a Wall street giant to police the securities industry, and hire a company to make sure automobiles are safely designed.

So if you have a pothole, you'd call Streets Inc. and if you were getting robbed, you'd call the Cop company, and if you got sick from tainted food, you'd call Food Inspectors International, Inc. and so on.

Sounds good, does it not? It's a corporatocracy for me!

At 1/19/2006 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Davenport's water is supplied by a private company. Many smaller communities contract out their garbage and recyling collection. But my point is that private companies are already supplying nursing home services effectively and efficiently. Government exists to fill a need that is not being met by the private sector. Nearly every city and county used to operate a landfill. Increased regulation required a level of expertise and cost that most counties and cities were unwilling or unable to bear, and most if not all municipalities and counties got out of the landfill business. The nursing home industry is highly regulated - as it should be. This is an area where the private sector has proven it's capable of successfully filling the need of the public.

At 1/19/2006 10:33 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Your point is well taken, but I have serious concerns when the profit motive takes precidence over the welfare of often indigent patients.

I firmly believe that there are many many areas where for-profit companies should not be involved.

Just why is the nursing home industry so intensely regulated?

It's because there have been so many often horrendous abuses, nearly all due to the profit motive, such as not providing adequate equipment, facilities, or hiring ex-cons and drug addicts because no one else will do the work for the pittance these companies often pay.

Companies run these care facilities with one motive and one motive only, profit, which means delivering the very least amount of service possible at the very least expense possible while charging the very most possible.

Not to say that this can't result in quality care, but it's a situation which is ripe for abuse.

The very fact that the industry has made such heavy regulation necessary is cause to be skeptical.

But as long as patient care was maintained at a high level or even improved under a private company, then I have no objections.

But if the care does deteriorate, who would be able to do anything? The care could go down considerably before state regulators would step in, and even then, unless it's an absolutely horrible violation, the companies often don't take any action.

Also, no one knows at all what a company may do down the line. Once you give the business away to them, they can do whatever they want.

They may decide that some of the more needy patients just aren't profitable enough or are money losers and instigate a policy to exclude them and only take those who have good insurance or can afford large out of pocket expenses.

It just seems that the current system is what's best for the patients, at least without knowing much more about the situation.

At 1/19/2006 12:10 PM, Blogger tiz said...

We all know Senator Mike Jacobs is working hard on this. Anyone who has been in the casinos he fights so hard for can attest to them being floating nursing homes.


At 1/19/2006 4:12 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I just wonder why build a nursing home on the busiest street in the IL Quad Cities, when it doesn't necessarily rely on visibility or location for its business.

At 1/19/2006 4:25 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

QCI... that struck me as well. That's like super-prime real estate, and it's right next to, or even in, the mega-million dollar development project some outfit has planned for that area.

Not only is it odd to be in such a high traffic area, but as I say, it's got to be some of the most desireable and pricey commercial locations in the Illinois Quad Cities.

Perhaps the parcel is tucked back away from things however. It's hard to tell. I can't imagine it fronting on John Deere Road.

But that's a very good observation... and question.

At 1/19/2006 10:11 PM, Anonymous Vita said...

My mother is in a nursing home in a small county in Central Illinois that has, get this, ONE nursing home in the entire county after the county-owned home was closed. So no choices left.

The new home is very expensive, and the administrators have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude when relatives question anything at all. If you've never looked after an elderly relative, you'd probably be tempted to say, "Move her to a better place." But people who have lived their entire lives in a place are not so easily transplanted.

In this case, the county let people down by closing the only competition the privately owned home had.

At 1/20/2006 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the yellow pages, there are 35 elderly care facilities in the Quad Cities, so that arguement really doesn't hold up here. As for the location of the facility, it occurs to me that a less-congested area would make more sense. I have a friend who runs a nursing home in Florida and she said that the elderly, particularly alzheimers patients, are much calmer in an area that's quiet, free from the noise of traffic and commerce. Was anyone who knows firsthand the needs of nursing home residents involved in this decision? Also, I read that the location is in the "flood fringe". Does anyone know what that means?

At 1/20/2006 6:56 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Well yes the Moline site may flood if they don't build it correctly. ANd we will probably loose wetlands but in the big Bush days of running stuff no one can stop it if the ball gets rolling.

I have a lot of experience over the recent decade here locally with multiple family members in and out of QC area nursing homes both private and public to include Oak Glen.

For anyone to suggest the private sector would want to take on the State Aid patients and accept what measley amount they get for patient care from the State is ludicrious. The private homes make you wait 15 years for a State bed. The State doesn't care and doesn't force them to take the patients either. Most private homes will tell you (just ask) that they only have less than 10 State medicaid beds leaving you to wait for someone to "die" before you can get into one.

I do my family's medical billing and trouble shoot this stuff all the time. The maze you go through to get the bills paid is a crime and most people even mid income can't afford to pay for nursing care on a long term basis. The private homes will eat up your entire savings and ask for a few pints of blood too!

The County does a nice job of trying to offer some dignity to those with nothing.... and many of us could end up with nothing if we live long enough and stop off first at a private "corporate" owned nursing facility.

So unless any of you know what the heck you are talking about - shut up already!! And may I suggest that you take good care of your health or you will live to eat your crude and uneducated comments when you are left without good nursing care...unless, of course, you are a millionaire?

At 1/23/2006 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Maybesomeday, I am not a millionnaire. I reread my posts, and your definition of crude must be a lot different than mine. As for "uneducated", my father died at a very young age and I had the responsibility of finding nursing home care for his mother, my grandmother. I assisted my mother in choosing a nursing home for her father. Both of my grandparents were admitted as private pay patients. My grandmother died soon after admission; my grandfather's assets quickly ran out and he became a "public aid" patient. I noticed no change in his level of care. Both of my grandparents lived in Illinois. The truth is that most elderly people have transferred assets to their children, so that when they are admitted to a nursing home, their assets don't last long and they become public aid patients. Knowing this, there is no way that less than 10% of nursing home pateints in the Quad Cities are "private pay". My "educated" estimate is that about 25% of most nursing home patients are private pay.


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