Blaine County residents will get a sense of the options for senior care tonight, Jan. 23, when the Blaine County commissioners will hold a special meeting to evaluate the county’s options.
The meeting was originally scheduled for Jan. 16, but was moved to tonight at 6 p.m. to enable members of the Blaine Manor board and the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation board to meet and attempt to work together on a solution.
The evening meeting is the first such meeting to be held on the matter of senior care since the commissioners began discussing the issue in early 2012.
The commissioners are not expected to make a decision on a senior care proposal until Feb. 12, but Commissioner Angenie McCleary called this evening’s meeting “significant”—one of three such meetings in making a senior-care decision. Subsequent meetings will be held Jan. 29 and Feb. 12.
However, McCleary said she didn’t expect the board to make a decision on which senior care proposal it would prefer or a preferred method of governance—public or private—until the deadline.
The three proposals under consideration include one from Pocatello-based Safe Haven Health Care for an assisted living and skilled nursing facility in Bellevue; one from Pocatello-based TanaBell Health Services, which proposes taking over Blaine Manor and streamlining operations; and one from locally based Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation that proposes a new facility that would include independent and assisted living alongside skilled nursing.
McCleary said she has been preparing by going over the original proposals, as well as the notes she took during the three site visits of senior care facilities in Pocatello and Idaho Falls.
Commissioner Jacob Greenberg said during a public meeting last week that he has been compiling spreadsheets to compare the three proposals.
The commissioners have also been using evaluation sheets to score the proposals on certain criteria that they deem important, including financial stability and ability to care for patients on Medicare or Medicaid.
McCleary said she is looking forward to hearing Greenberg’s opinion on funding and which option would be the best for Blaine County.
Commissioner Larry Schoen has already said he would not support a facility that permanently relied on public funding, such as one that would be governed by a county hospital board.
The commissioners will meet tonight upstairs at the Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey. The meeting is expected to last until 8:30 p.m.
Schoen said he would give each commissioner 50 minutes to discuss his or her opinions and evaluations with the rest of the board. Characterizing the meeting as a “public meeting” and not a “public hearing,” he said comments will be accepted from people attending if there is time.
Copies of the senior care proposals can be found at www.co.blaine.id.us under the “Skilled Nursing” tab on the left side of the page. For more coverage from the Idaho Mountain Express on the issue, search “Wutz senior care” on our web page.
Kate Wutz: firstname.lastname@example.org