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County Executive supports building a new Portage County Health Care Center


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- A report outlining Portage County’s options for the future of the county-owned nursing home has the County Executive leaning towards one of the choices. The Portage County Health Care Center has been a service the county board gladly provides, but they realize it is expensive to support.

County Executive Patty Dreier says a study was recently done by Appleton based health care financial consultant Schenck Health Service Solutions along with an operational study by Community Living Solutions looked at the present situation and compared it to remodelling, selling the facility, or building a new one. Dreier says she already favors building a new skilled nursing facility. “If you want my recommendation, and after working on all of this working on Strategic Planning for almost four years for the Portage County Health Care Center, it would allow us to create that new residence center environment, to streamline the operations that allows you to achieve staff efficiencies while you’re still offering awesome quality of care at the bedside.”

Dreier says there have been changes to in recent years to minimize losses at the Portage County Health Care Center, but they need to do find a way to continue high quality care with fewer expenses. “The status quo is not an option. That’s the bottom line. That’s the first thing for everybody to know. We know we’ve turned the ship and we’ve made it more sustainable than it ever had been in any recent history, however, it is still not viable for the long run without digging us multi-millions of dollars in the hole.”

Dreier says the consultants cite more assisted living competition combined with fewer Medicaid eligible patients as factors driving down the number of patients they care for, but the baby boomer generation is going to have a need for these services soon and they must be ready.

The consultant’s report is been forwarded to committees, and is likely to have full county board discussion soon.

(Our interview with Patty Dreier can be heard on our website, here.)