Aug 27, 2010

A Disingenuous Angle

One component of Ron Angle's excuse to sell Gracedale Nursing Home was it's declining population. Actually population is the exact reason that it should be retained. According to Rand Corporation;
In recent years, the rate of institutionalization among the elderly has been falling. It is predicted that this trend will reverse itself within the next decade, and that we will see substantial increases in the incidence of institutionalization among the elderly.

All studies and common sense indicate that nursing home populations are about to explode. Although the obvious factor is the aging Baby Boom generation, an increase in childless couples and the increase in life expectancy will also contribute to the demand for care.

One must question why Angle would cite such an erroneous reason. Both he and Stoffa claim repeated offers from the private sector to purchase the facility. Wouldn't they wonder why there is such demand for a declining business?

Now with a comment from Angle's Minister of Propaganda

17 comments:

gary ledebur said...

It strains credibility that you want local government in the medical care business. What better poverty magnet that to move to the valley so that grandma can get free nursing care, especially if the doctors and nurses speak Spanish!

michael molovinsky said...

i wouldn't encourage the counties to enter this field, but they have been in it for over 100 years. why exit now when the greatness need and service is just around the corner? then, to ignore this upcoming trend, and cite a declining population is disingenuous

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, but you are the only one who would call out O'Hare on this. The post about Allentown being a dead city. Read the link, with the sole exception of Atlantic City it's a summary of the declining manufacturing base of the rust-belt cities. It specifically notes Allentown's loss of steel-making manufacturing. Huh? You may have a better memory than me but when was steel ever made in Allentown? Instead of an honest commentary, it is used as a cheap shot at King Edwin and an opportunity to call Allentown a desolate wasteland.

Anonymous said...

MM said:

"Both he and Stoffa claim repeated offers from the private sector to purchase the facility. Wouldn't they wonder why there is such demand for a declining business?"

**********************************

No secret here, private facilities can provide quality care AND make money. Public facilities struggle or lose money.

The reason - the inflated cost of union labor.

The fact that there is "such a demand" is exactly why it should be sold. The facility will remain to serve the population and the county will be rid of a money loser.

Case closed.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:36, "case closed" sounds just like the legal type brief that bernie o'hare wrote on his blog, defending angle and stoffa's position. that brief appeared to be repeated in angle's letter to the call. to those of us who had friends and family in nursing homes, we know that the care in the county facilities greatly exceeds that in the private sector, with the exception of the most expensive places.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:29, i agree that these surveys often miss the mark. i also agree that o'hare may be motivated by his dislike of pawlowski. bernie may well make one of his now seldom comments on this blog to defend angle, and perhaps he will address your concern at the same time.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM,

The word "disingenuous" is just a fancy way of calling someone a liar. Because you have research showing that - guess what- baby boomers are retiring, that means Angle must be a liar. I see.

Let's discuss research. You have the Rand study. Angle has a Gracedale-specific study prepared by Complete Health Care. The census at Gracedale has dropped big time, and it won't be reversed by a County-run nursing home for several reasons.

First, the number of privately-run nursing homes in the LV is much higher now than in 1950, when it was only Gracedale. Those homes place Gracedale at a competitive disadvantage because government does not run like a business.

Second, even as baby boomers age, the trend for seniors these days is to stay in their homes, relying on Assisted Living. In the final days, they often check into a hospice instead of a nursing hoome. If they do go into a nursing home, they pick others.

Third, Gracedale's competitve disadvantage can be seen with Admissions. People do not want to wait an extended period to be admitted into a nursing home. If they call Gracedale and two other nursing homes, the other homes will have an answer right away while Gracedale hems and haws for days.

Fourth, privately-run facilities get a higher reimbursement from Medicaire and Medicaid than County-owned nursing homes. Once again, the County is put at a competitive disadvantage.

Fifth, Gracedale's aging infrastructure requires periodic unexpected investments, something seen less frqwuently at privately run facilities.

So why do private owners want Gracedale? Because they can do the job more efficiently and make money. The County must pay a benefits package equal to 77% of a staffer's wages, while the industry standard is 38% They know how to market. They admit right away. They get higher reimbursements. They can make a profit. A County can't, and is losing more and more all the time. Cedarbrook is losing money, too.

Next time you decide to call someone disingenuous, look in a mirror. You're just fanning the flames on a topic about which you know absolutely nothing.

This is my one and only comment here.

michael molovinsky said...

i was expecting your angle defense. you start out by accusing me of calling angle a liar, that's your usual first attack, exaggerating and trying to change my words. "disingenuous" actually fits you to a tee.

if cedarbrook is losing money, blame your excellent speaker cunningham, who unionized it. but as i stated before, your defense or criticism is always based on the who, not the what.

also, as i stated before, i put the county's (both lehigh and northampton) historical responsibility for a county home high up on the list, way ahead of open space, recreation and other things they should have never concerned themselves with.

as far as fanning flames, what a joke. I write from the heart, only on those topics i care about. you write for political propaganda; why are you so concerned with callahan's brother-in-laws traffic accident? a disingenuous o'hare.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, you write because the rand report shows that people are retiring that angle must be a liar. NO, the rand report says;

Objective. To forecast growth in the US nursing home population, as a function of trends in disability and marriage.

the rand report cited and linked on this post doesn't discuss retirement, it cites that nursing home populations will increase in dramatic fashion. angle was disingenuous because he cites the current lower population, knowing full well what's around the corner. you're even more disingenuous because you know most people will not use the link here, and accept your fabricated explanation that it deals with retirement

LVCI said...

As you know Michael last time I commented about this Bernie blew me out of the water. He stated because of my anonymity and lack of attendance at all the feel good, real good meetings I've not earned the right and do a "disservice" to my blog readers when I express my opinions. He further stated that he lost all respect for me. (But he still accepts those anonymous comments from non-bloggers in his comments section). I'm sure the following won't sit any better then the first time I commented on this matter. But then again I depend on food and water to exist and no so much on Bernie's opinions of me.

Like I stated previously, Northampton County should get a good management firm to handle Gracedale for the county. Coincidently I've just read in the paper this is exactly what D. Cunningham already suggested for them to do three years ago. When Gracedale was still turning a profit no less. They made their choice to ignore his advice. I previously accused commissioners of "mismanaging" this. Since then it comes to light they were given this very same advice by a fellow commissioner in L.C. a few years back. Couldn't have Northampton County's commissioner possibly have turned this around by taking that advice? This reinforces my prior comments and it now looks like I wasn't the only one to suggest this.

Secondly I suggested that county should hire professional negotiators. Ones who specialize in dealing with unions. They have a good deal of success rate. The company I worked for did. Within 1 year they convinced the employees to vote the union out. Several years later this same firm was hired by my company once again. For a second time this same outside firm managed to defeat that union's attempt to get voted in via company required meetings with employees.

There is no shame for commissioners to have gotten outside help to manage something that may be above their pay grade to try and manage effectively. So too there is no shame in failure when every avenue was explored and a positive outcome could not be achieved. Who could now be angry with them for trying to do their very best? It's of my opinion they simply did not "try to do their very best".

The company I worked for is one of the top ten corps in America employing 10,000's nationally and internationally. They called on an outside contractor to help because they weren't too proud to have outside help solve their dilemma. It's called 'good management'. So therefore I stand on my characterization as this being a case of 'mismanagement'.

I am convinced Bernie's the hardest most investigative blogger in the valley. For that I respect him.. but even sometimes he's even wrong. His opinions are just that. No matter how diligently they are constructed by his meticulous research and his attendances at various meetings they, non-the-less are opinions. Known or unknown (by name), all opinions should be judged by what was said. Not by the person who said them. Since my opinions no longer matter and lack creditability with Bernie I should be quite confident that he will not feel offended.

michael molovinsky said...

lvci, bernie did not blow you out of the water, he simply gave one of his law school 101 attack the messenger spiels. bernie often tries too hard, and goes too far for his own credibility, but he's too egocentric to recognize it.

LVCI said...

I was called out for using a thesaurus instead of a dictionary. According to the "online dictionary"...

dis•in•gen•u•ous (dsn-jny-s)
adj.
1. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating: "an ambitious, disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical operator, who ... exemplified ... the most disagreeable traits of his time" (David Cannadine).
2. Pretending to be unaware or unsophisticated; faux-naïf.
3. Usage Problem Unaware or uninformed; naive.

Therefore definition for the word "disingenuous" is not "defined" as "". Neither does my built-in thesaurus. In fact I checked 3 sites online and neither do they use suggest the word "liar".

LVCI said...

"Cedarbrook is losing money too
I THINK NOT!

According to THIS OFFICIAL document dated August 2009:
"The proposed 2010 budget is $412.3 million in total. More than half of that spending total is either state or federal pass-through money or as in the case at the Cedarbrook nursing homes ($60.4 million) paid for by residents, not taxpayers."


The official minutes from Lehigh County Board of Commissioners meeting on Aug.11, 2010

County Executive Cunningham said at the Chairman of the Board's request he will comment on Gracedale and Cedarbrook Nursing Homes.

He said we have all read about the potential sale of Gracedale. He said you really have night and day situations between Lehigh and Northampton Counties in terms of finances for the two nursing homes. He said the last quality rating also showed that Cedarbrook is a four star facility and Gracedale a two star facility.

He said our last budget year for Cedarbrook called for a $1 million general fund subsidy and we only spent $440,000. He said as reported, Gracedale's subsidy is supposedly between $7 million to $8 million.

He said the previous administration made an excellent decision on privatizing the management of Cedarbrook. He said LW Consulting has done an excellent job on staffing and delivered a quality nursing home with an excellent rating at an affordable price.

County Executive Cunningham said he remains opposed to consideration of the sale of that asset. He said that move would be "penny wise and pound foolish". He said he hopes that Northampton County will not proceed with its sale. He said they are talking about taking the proceeds from the sale and plugging one or two budgets. He said that hole in the budget would be back in three years. He said he thinks there is a significant difference between Cedarbrook and Gracedale.


The above in BOLD is mine to attenuate on what I said about hiring a outside management firm.

LVCI said...

Oops!

Meant to say.. "The above in BOLD is mine to accentuate on what I said about hiring a outside management firm."

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading the comments on your page. I am one of many Gracedale Employees who is saddened by this Councils attitude torward OUR HOME and it's employees. I have always been proud of OUR HOME and my co-workers who go above and beyond for the Residents they care for and their fellow employees. We take great offense to the way we are being portrayed by MR ANGLE whom I must say I never met until Council Meeting and I was ashamed of his demeanor and his lack of Respect and Empathy for our Residents and Staff. I don't feel us lower class employees are totally to blame for any of this....we do what we are told to do by Supervisors and Upper Management. We are held accountable and yet they aren't. One of the reasons I don't think we would survive without a Union is because of the politics that go on at Gracedale such as unfair discipline, discrimination and favortism...many dollars have been spent because of this. In the past few years they have created so many positions and moved employees around to other positions in Management and we have more managers than ever and we are losing money. Employees have seen this coming however there is no one to go to who will listen...like what we experienced at the Council Meeting. All us lower class employees and there are many of us are just getting by in this economy are worried about our future also. If a New Management team would solve our problem...what is the problem. MR ANGLE wants to blame the Union. Add up the salaries and fringe benefits of those postions and all the overtime those managers were allowed to make...you all saw the papers and I beleive only one was a "Steel Workers" Union Member not an Asmce member..but as usual they pick on the little guy.

Anonymous said...

The dumping of Gracedale comes as no surprise. When things start to get a little difficult it is always easier for politicians to bail.

Next year they will simply move on to the next money looser and bail on that. Then the year after that another bail.

These supposed stewards of the county fail to see the county as a system. It is to benefit the citizens of the county and should not be run as if it were a business.

They treat it as if they were ultimately responsible to essentially disinterested investors who have no connection to the area.

Perhaps as the poster above notes the real issue is in the house of cards the elected officials have created for patronage purposes. I would tend to believe this is where the costs really are out of control.

Unions have their place and I am sure Gracedale is one of them. Hopefully soon the employees of the local hospitals will get the message and seriously consider a move to unionize. They too, the hospitals, will bail on the employees when the going gets rough.

After the county nursing homes it will probably be the prisons. They will go private which is kind of an oxymoron. A private prison.

Is it cheaper to keep the prisoners you have or to bring in new ones. Talk about getting caught in a system. So crime does pay.

Eventually I am sure it will replicate the private psychiatric hospital "craze" of the early 80's. It was the business to be in until insurers started to focus on cutting costs and the regs changed. Now it is difficult for anyone to even find competent providers.

So when private industry has sucked these institutions dry and moved on who will be there to care for the carnage? Surely not Bernie or Angle they, by that time, will probably be fertilizer on some Northampton Count field.

gary ledebur said...

on a lighter note,MM: ---

With one week to go before the second annual Philly Naked Bike Ride, volunteers mobilized to discuss safety and get the word out about the event.


“We’re riding for cyclist advocacy, to show how fragile we are in traffic, and we’re riding to show what a big part of traffic we really are; some people bigger than others.”