(image from John Sowell, Idaho Statesman)
A rumbling effect could be heard through the assisted living and residential care facility industry on Wednesday afternoon, April 21st, as one of Boise’s long-time long-term care facilities received notice that it would not receive reimbursement payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after May 20th. That was a thirty-day notice that the Good Samaritan Society Boise Village was given, much to the shock of staff and residents.
The Idaho Statesman’s John Sowell broke the online news on Wednesday afternoon after talking with residents and staff at the facility that has been providing care since the late 1950s. The newspaper reportedly had a copy of an undated termination letter that outlined six areas where the agency said the nursing home failed to comply with program requirements. The areas listed that led to the termination letter included services such as administration, quality of patient care, nursing services, resident assessments, comprehensive care plans, and [gasp!] infection control.
“No ability to bill Medicare and Medicaid”
A spokesperson for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said that the facility has not been able to improve their service in over a half year to meet the department’s requirements. They’ve “been out of compliance for six months,” and no longer have the ability “to bill Medicare or Medicaid for services.” [www.idahostatesman.com/news/business/article250840574.html]. Because they can no longer bill for Medicare and Medicaid services, the parent company of Good Samaritan Village has decide to cease operations and close the Boise facility.
Good Samaritan Village, with several residential care facilities in Idaho, merged with Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Sanford Health in 2019. It was Sanford Health that made the decision to close the Boise facility.
“What about other Samaritan Village facilities?”
Sanford Health has not said anything about potentially closing any of the other Idaho facilities; at last word, the ones in Moscow, Silverton, and Idaho Falls would still remain open and operational.
“Where will the residents go?”
There has been no word from either Samaritan Village or Sanford Health as to what will happen to the current residents of the 127-bed facility just north of West State Street in Boise. The same spokesperson for the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare has said that the residents would be relocated, but as of Wednesday evening, that action has not been confirmed by Samaritan Village.
Samaritan Village has provided an essential service that many other long-term care facilities do not provide; they are willing to accept Medicaid payments for their services. Medicaid pays for about 50% of the nation’s nursing home costs, according to the American Council on Aging. Because of that leverage, the agency is able to negotiate discounts so that it pays about 70% of the “regular full price” charged to other residents.
There is no answer as of Wednesday evening as to where the current residents will go, or what will become of the sprawling facility on Boise’s Sycamore Drive.