The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

Gordon Bell, M.D. 

Valley View Home - Letter to the Editor


August 23, 2017

My 39 years of medical practice has given me unique insights into Valley View Nursing Home. This facility has provided excellent care and support for countless residents and has directly or indirectly touched the lives of nearly all who live in Valley County. The nursing home is in a crisis, not one of its own doing, but because of our state legislature choosing to chronically underfund reimbursement for nursing home care.

Approximately 70 percent of the current residents rely on Medicaid to cover their costs. That reimbursement amounts to a shortfall each day of $40-60. No business is sustainable under these circumstances.

The respective Boards of Valley View and Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital (FMDH) formed a task force to study the problem. Many issues were uncovered including a finding that many nursing homes are closing and 18 rural counties have some type of tax support for their institution. They learned the infrastructure needed some repairs, but was quite worthy of the investment. The task force learned that the average cost per resident [per] day at Valley View is well below the industry average. They have also uncovered some issues that are being addressed that will improve efficiency and reduce the need for outside support. Despite this, without community support, Valley View will completely run out of its reserves in a few years and be forced to close. This will be devastating for many families who are no longer able to care for loved ones. It would also likely have a negative effect on our overall population level as some families relocate to be near loved ones in distant facilities.

Valley View was in the news for the wrong reasons recently. I have personally witnessed the very hard work put in by the new administrative team to correct all the issues the state inspectors raised. They have also made significant progress in the work environment to ensure the employees and residents will be glad to be in Valley View Nursing Home.

I will be voting yes to authorize the Board of County Commissioners of Valley County to set a levy to support Valley View for the next two years. I urge all voters to come to the aid of Valley View and keep this important source of care for our families in the community.

-Gordon Bell M.D.


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