Census down at Valley Vista

Valley Vista Care Center, St. Maries, has zero confirmed cases of coronavirus, but is still feeling the effects of the pandemic via diminished revenue and fewer resident admissions.

Valley Vista Care Center continues to have no cases of the coronavirus but the pandemic has not been without impact.

According to CEO Chuck Lloyd the number of patients at the facility has decreased which has a direct impact on revenue.

“A significant amount of revenue comes from Medicaid for the nursing facility,” Mr. Lloyd said. “It is more about the census of the facility, the amount of residents; the number of patients is less than it usually is.”

Patient volume at the facility has decreased because greater precautions have to be taken when considering admission.

“It (admission) is on an individual basis,” Mr. Lloyd said. “There is a rigorous process and if they are admitted they are placed under fourteen day quarantine.”

Personal protective equipment is also a factor according to Mr. Lloyd.

“It is not that people are not applying to come but you have to be mindful of PPE and consider where patients are coming from,” Mr. Lloyd said.

To cope with diminished revenue VVC has adjusted its budget and furloughed some corporate office staff.

Staff levels returned to normal May 18, according to Mr. Lloyd.

Unlike hospitals, there are no federal relief funds available to nursing facilities at this time.

“There has been talk at HHS for some type of grant for primarily Medicaid providers, but no money has come through,” Mr. Lloyd said.

Construction to renovate and expand the St. Maries facility is ongoing and may be the one bright spot of the pandemic impact.

“CMS said no communal dining and no communal activities so we took advantage of that to get the dining room done ahead of schedule,” Mr. Lloyd said.

Overall, Mr. Lloyd expects VVCC to endure the pandemic and its financial impact.

“I think we will be okay,” he said.

Mr. Lloyd commended VVCC and BCH, where he is also CEO, on their handling of the pandemic.

“Both organizations and all the employees have done a great job at keeping themselves healthy and ensuring there coworkers and our community is safe,” Mr. Lloyd said.

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