Jefferson County Officials Fear Nursing Home Challenge Will Cost County Millions

Posted on May 15, 2012 By Bond & Botes, PC

A new filing by HealthSouth Corp., according to Jefferson County officials, threatens to cost the county more than $11 million in instant revenues and millions more in expenses, both of which the bankrupt county can’t afford.

HealthSouth filed a request for a contested case proceeding over Northport Holding LLC’s certificate of need (CON) applications with the Alabama State Health Planning and Development Agency in Montgomery.  This filing seeks an administrative law judge hearing to its challenge of Northport Holding replacing the Jefferson Rehabilitation and Health Center(also known as Ketona Nursing Home)  and its 238 nursing home beds with two new ones in Vestavia and Hoover by dividing the beds.

This move will delay the county’s planned $8.3 million sale of its nursing home beds and a subsequent sale of the existing nursing home property for more than $2.8 million.

According to Jefferson County Commissioner Jimmy Stephens, the county was counting on that cash.  “Jefferson County was needing that one-time revenue to sustain county services,” he said. “ We were actually counting on utilizing that to help finish out this year and perhaps allow us to begin next year.  Now, it’s going to be very difficult going forward.”

The Ketona Nursing Home has been downsized for more than a year in anticipation of it being sold.  There are only 38 residents compared to 131 residents a year ago.

Jefferson County Manager, Tony Petelos, stated, “We’ve been working hard liquidating assets in the county.  We’ve been working hard to cut expenses.  We’ve been working hard to generate revenue.  This is a huge stumbling block for us.  We feel like innocent victims in this.”

He added, “We had a win-win situation for the citizens of Jefferson County.  All of that has been placed on hold by the actions of HealthSouth.  I would sincerely hope they would reconsider so that we can move forward.”

The original article can be read here.