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County will weigh options on Pleasant View
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MONROE - The Green County Board of Supervisors has two options when it comes to the costs to run Pleasant View Nursing Home.

The Pleasant View Nursing Home Committee can make a recommendation to the county board in the next few weeks as to what plan the board should support.

The first plan, suggested by Rep. Brett Davis, R-Oregon, is to ask the state to increase payments from its Medicare fund.

The other plan, supported by Sen. John Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, is for all counties to remove the cost to operate county nursing homes from the levy limits imposed by the state.

The board Tuesday learned the nursing home will continue to cost the county money if something isn't done to make up the difference between what it costs to operate the home and the amount it receives from the state.

In 2008, Pleasant View Nursing Home had a deficit of about $900,000.

Brian Schoeneck, financial services director for the Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, told the board Tuesday that 96 percent of all county-run nursing homes lost money in 2007-08.

The average public nursing home lost $37.65 per resident per day.

Pleasant View Nursing Home Administrator Don Stoor told the board it costs about $200 per day to care for each resident at the nursing home. Medicare pays about $130 per day for each resident, he said.

Pleasant View's deficit wasn't a result of mismanagement, Schoeneck told the board.

Counties that operate nursing homes could receive more money for their nursing homes, Davis told the board, if the state would pay the counties extra money it receives from the federal government to cover the cost of Medicaid reimbursements.

Schoeneck told the board the county could receive about $450,000 for the nursing home if the state gave back extra money from the Medicaid payments it receives from the federal government.

However, the state uses the money for other programs such as SeniorCare or Badger Care, he added.

Erpenbach, who wasn't able to be at the meeting but met with county officials late last month, has supported a plan to eliminate the nursing home from the county's 2 percent revenue limit imposed by the state.

Other items, such as libraries and bridges, are exempt from the 2 percent levy limit and some board members have suggested the nursing home be included in the list of exemptions.

However, Davis said exemptions would lead to higher property taxes. He said the state should use federal money that's already coming to the state to help offset costs for nursing homes.