Commissioners look to save taxpayers $3 million at York County nursing home

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SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, PA. -- York county commissioners have their eyes on cutting costs at the county's nursing home.

Officials agreed to hire a management consulting firm to increase efficiency and reduce costs at the Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation facility.

County commissioners agreed to pay the Montgomery County firm Complete Healthcare Resources, $24,000 a month for the next three years to find ways to save money.

The management consulting firm will soon be onsite at York county's Pleasant Acres, cutting costs.

Pleasant Acres nursing center CFO Tamatha Hetrick said "some of it has to do with therapy, and the way we document our therapy and bill therapy, other things would be certain places we order from."

York County contributes about $8 million a year to operate the nursing home. A recent 150-page study found more efficient ways to run the facility, while saving York County taxpayers $3 million out of the county's $250 million general fund.

York County communications director Mark Walters said "it seems small, but it's savings. The county starts off every year when it balances its budget about $7 to $7-1/2 million dollars in the hole, so finding 3 million right out of the gate would be a big deal."

Cuts wont be made to patient care, instead management will look at ways to improve service with recommendations by the consultant.

"They will help us educate right on the spot. If it's something they can come back and we can put a new system in place maybe a new procedure, then we will have a conversation about that, and make sure their recommendations get put into place," Hetrick said.

It takes about $46 million to run York County's nursing home, which currently falls short by about $4 million each year.

"The nursing home costs a lot of money and savings is being looked at in every department in the county, but certainly with regard to the health care, it's expensive," Walters said.

A nursing shortage causes some high costs at the facility has to use a nursing agency to fill the open positions.  Pleasant Acres may use 10 to 12 agency nurses a day, which costs the county $30 to $60 an hour each.

Hiring more nurses on staff could help reduce those extra costs.

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