Gouverneur's Kinney Nursing Home sets May 7 as target closing date
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 2:41 pm

GOUVERNEUR – Citing an untenable financial situation, the board of directors of the Kinney Nursing Home have set a target date of about May 7 to close the facility.

“After months of careful analysis, and with the health and safety of residents foremost in mind, the Board of Directors of Kinney Nursing Home has made the difficult but unavoidable decision to close the nursing home as a result of continuing and irreversible adverse financial challenges,” a statement from the board released this afternoon said.

“These challenges prevent us from providing the amenities our residents and their families require and deserve and will erode our ability to continue to meet standards of medical care our residents require and deserve.”

The statement said that residents, family members and staff were notified of the closure yesterday. It said the state Department of Health has approved a comprehensive closure plan, with a targeted closing date on or about May 7.

The board statement said it “recognizes and regrets the burdens that the closing creates for our 22 residents and their families. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that these life transitions go as smoothly as possible for all involved, and that the health and safety of our residents remain our number-one priority each step of the way.”

Kinney Nursing Home opened in 1972 and was certified as a 40-bed nursing home, serving Gouverneur and surrounding communities, the press release says. E. J. Noble Hospital of Gouverneur provided staffing at Kinney Nursing Home under contract until the closure of that hospital on December 31. The newly-established Gouverneur Hospital hired staff whose services are leased to the independent nursing home. The Gouverneur Hospital administration will work with affected employees, and bargaining representatives if applicable, to minimize the impact of the closure to the extent possible the statement said.

“Unfortunately, the harsh realities of today’s healthcare economy prevent a small nursing home like this, in a rural area like ours, from remaining viable any longer. The challenges faced by Kinney Nursing Home are like those confronting nursing homes across the country, particularly those in small, rural communities like Gouverneur. The payments Kinney Nursing Home receives for providing care are far below its operating costs, resulting in an average annual loss of more than $208,000 over the past 14 years. This chronic shortage of funding means that we are no longer able to provide the amenities our residents and their families require and deserve and our ability to provide even minimum standards of medical care will erode. We have looked closely at all aspects of the nursing home’s operations and evaluated its current and projected future revenues and expenses, and see no reasonable likelihood that we can achieve financial viability or make the significant investments that are necessary to improve care on a sustainable basis,” the statement said.

The nursing home board said it conducted “a thorough, proactive review of all aspects of a closure, and prepared a thoughtful, comprehensive closure plan in full compliance with federal and New York State regulations, and following best practices for appropriate placement of nursing home residents.

“In accordance with our plan, Kinney Nursing Home management has immediately begun working with our residents and their families to transition them to the most appropriate and qualified care setting for each individual. We are assisted in this process by United Helpers, Inc., the trusted local agency that has worked with us to manage the nursing home over the past year, and which has a successful record of conducting knowledgeable assessments and placement services. Relocation timing is dependent on each individual resident’s medical condition, preferences, and availability of appropriate alternative placement.

“Each resident will be re-assessed from the physical, medical, and cognitive perspectives to verify his or her specific care needs. Residents and family members will be provided with information about other nursing homes and placement options based on those needs, and asked to identify their top three choices. If placement within a resident’s top three choices cannot be arranged, Kinney Nursing Home’s management will work with the resident and his or her family to identify other appropriate care options,” the board said.

Residents and family members with questions may contact Interim Administrator Todd Amo at 535-9319.