VVH Board President Looks to Future, Community Sentiment
In a recent interview with the Courier, Brian Fuhrman sat down to discuss Valley View Home’s (VVH) future and recent difficulties. As president of the VVH board of directors, Fuhrman is hoping to alleviate concerns of the home’s recent woes and uncertain future through an upcoming board strategic planning meeting set in September. Fuhrman said the closed-door session will be “looking at long and short-term goals for the viability of the nursing home, and to turn it back into a profit [organization].” He stated the home had run a deficit since 2012 and if not for reserves would have likely already shut down. The losses are due in part to an apparent shortfall in government compensation for medicaid residents, according to Fuhrman, who stated that the difference was causing significant profit shortages in operations. Further reasons given by Fuhrman for the losses is that, “the facility [VVH] is really too big for the census we have,” and he alluded to the possibility that the strategic planning meeting could limit the facility to the original wing, reducing the need for such a large staff and potentially reducing VVH’s income troubles.
In all, the intent for the strategic planning session is to focus on the future of VVH’s viability. “We are in charge of taking care of people who can’t take care of themselves,” Fuhrman affirmed as he discussed the desire for a successful outcome. He stressed that once the board determines their plan the intent is to communicate that to the public.
Fuhrman went on to clarify rumors that VVH was renewing a contract with Health Management Services (HMS) to continue managing the home. Fuhrman said that in fact HMS had issued a letter to the board in July looking to terminate the contract mid-September. Fuhrman speculated that their concerns stemmed from the view that the board no longer supported HMS, but that those concerns had been remedied and HMS was no longer looking to terminate the contract as of Aug. 14.
Despite the recent affirmation of VVH and HMS to continue their working relationship Fuhrman did say, “the board is aware of recent community issues that have been brought up.” He did not entirely comment on the “community issues”, but did say, “HMS demands performance from their employees,” when asked about how HMS handles personnel. After being pressed on HMS’ performance in running VVH and dealing with terminations, Fuhrman reiterated “the board is aware of community frustration, and we are going to address it in the strategic planning meeting.” Later in the interview he emphasized that theme again saying, “the board is aware of community sentiment, and we are working on positive solutions.”
Fuhrman stressed the difficulty of VVH’s situation given the cash flow and the public’s perception of events affirming that, “the board members are very committed to providing quality care and a successful operation.” Fuhrman concluded with, “the big issue is profitability and the second issue is viability.”