Thursday, December 3, 2020

Attempt to derail the closing of Boudreaux Nursing home fails.

by Rod Williams - Thankfully, the Metro  Council failed to pass a resolution seeking to immediately stop the process of winding down the Metro-owned long-term care nursing home in the Bordeaux community of Nashville. The facility now has less than 15 people remaining at the site. Metro has been in the process of finding other homes for the residence since September and has placed approximately one hundred residents elsewhere. It is not anticipated there will be difficulty in finding beds for the remaining patients at Bordeaux as there is adequate capacity at nearby facilities. This move to get out of the nursing home business, which we should never have gotten into in the first place, is about fifty-three years late in coming.  

Some in the Council think we should stay in the nursing home business. The sponsors of the resolution were Jonathan Hall, Tanaka Vercher, Brandon Taylor, and Ginny Welsch. I am somewhat disappointed in Jonathan Hall's sponsorship.  I thought of him as a common sense type person and fiscally responsible.  I would have been surprised had Ginny Welsch not been a sponsor.  She is the most reckless and most radical member of the Council and never votes the right way on anything controversial and is a sponsor of every radical resolution coming out of the Council.  Once the minutes of the meeting are published, I will list who voted which way. 

 Medicaid was passed into law in 1965. By that act, the poor were no longer dependent on charity. The poor were given choices. At that time, Metro operated a charity hospital . We still do. Boudreaux did not open until 1967.  We should never have gotten in the nursing home business. With the passage of Medicare we did not need to provide this service.  Metro subsidizes Boudreaux nursing home to the tune of $6 million a year.  Hey, it's only money.  

With the failure to pass this resolution Tuesday night it finally looks like we are getting out of the nursing home business.  There is no talk however of closing Metro's charity hospital. With Nashville broke and Metro General a big money pit, unable to fill its beds, and an unnecessary expense, now would be a good time to do so.  Instead of finding ways to cut expenses, the Council would rather just keep raising taxes. Former Mayor Megan Barry half-heartily tried closing General but apparently was too distracted by her affair with her police body guard to do the heavy lifting necessary to make  it happen. At this time there is not even any talk of closing General. In fact, Metro General is laying the ground work to ask to build a new facility to replace the current hospital.  

Signature HealthCARE has been the operator of the Bordeaux nursing home for the last six years and their contract is expiring in January. Prior to 2014, Metro actually operated the facility and the staff were metro employees. In 2014 we privatized the operation of the facility and it is now operated by Signature. Metro sent out an RFP for an operator and neither Signature nor anyone else submitted a proposal. No private company wants to manage Bordeaux.

Bordeaux has been unable to fill its beds and before the start of the winddown was operating at only one-third of its licensed capacity. Bordeaux is rated 1-out-of-5-stars by CMS. So, finally Metro is closing the Boudreaux nursing home and the site will be redeveloped. 

For The Tennessean's coverage of this story follow this link

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