Rates rise at Bedford County Nursing Home

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BEDFORD, VA (WDBJ7) Monday evening, the Bedford County Board of Supervisors voted to raise the current rate at the Bedford County Nursing Home by 2%.

In total, officials say the change, which impacts room, trip, and medical supplies costs, is expected to generate about $40,000 for the institution.

"This is a self-supported fund," said county administrator Robert Hiss. "No tax dollars go into it. So we really need to be able to support ourselves."

Hiss says the rate increase is about both staying competitive with other nursing homes in the area, and making sure no money is left on the table.

"It's really just a good business practice to make sure we're maximizing the federal dollars that we can obtain with the reimbursement," he said.

As to where the funds will go, the money could help county officials fill open positions at the nursing home. The county already allocated $20,000 to attract new nurses to the facility earlier this summer, a plan that so far officials say seems to be working.

"Last week we hired 8 new employees in the county, and we're scheduled to bring on 10 new employees next week," said Paul Poff, the administrator of the nursing home.

Poff took over as administrator a week and a half ago. He says he's still getting his footing, but is working to address the staffing shortage and figure out the best use of funds at the institution.

"Getting the key management in there, getting them to sit down and us to evaluate what exactly they need," said Poff.

With the rate increase set to take effect in a few months, Robert Hiss says officials are doing what they can to address the challenges the institution is facing, and that even with the increase, the Bedford County Nursing Home remains among the most affordable in the region.

"Bedford County nursing home is a great value for anyone who wants to be in it," he said.