Thursday, December 17, 2020

How members of the Council voted on derailing the closing of Bordeaux Nursing Home.

by Rod Williams - On the December 1st agenda of the Metro Council was a resolution asking the mayor to stop the process of winding down the closing of the Metro-owned long-term care nursing home in the Bordeaux community of Nashville. The facility at that time had 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. The rational for halting the closing of the facility was to keep the residents safely in place during the pandemic.

In my view, this effort to slow the closing of Bordeaux was wrong and the pandemic was just an excuse. If they had successfully delayed the closing, there might have developed a move to "save" Bordeaux and it might have never closed. This nursing home should have been closed long ago and, in fact, Metro should never have gotten in the nursing home business in the first place.

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. Bordeaux 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. 

With the failure to pass this resolution, it finally looks like we are finally 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 close General also. Unfortunately, instead of finding ways to cut expenses, the Mayor and 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 the city had the good sense to privatize 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. That means it is one of the worst nursing homes.  It is the bottom of the barrel. We should be ashamed to be associated with such a facility and pleased to see it closed. Finally, Metro is closing the Boudreaux nursing home and the site will be redeveloped.

The correct vote on this resolution was to vote "no."  

Here is how members of the Council voted:

Yes: Rosenberg, Hurt, Toombs, OConnell, and Taylor,  

No: Mendes, Allen, Parker, Withers, Benedict, VanReece, Hagar, Evans, Bradford, Rhoten, Syracuse, Cash, Hausser, Druffel, Pulley, Johnston, Nash, and Rutherford 

Absent: Henderson, Glover, Suara, Hall, Gamble, Swope, Hancock, Young, Welsch, Sledge, Vercher, Porterfield, Sepulveda, and Styles 

Abstain: Roberts, Murphy, and Lee

If you are not sure who your council member is you can use this look up tool to find out.  If you want to put a face with the name, follow this link

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