Fair Haven project on hold


Certificate of need required

By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@aimmedianetwork.com



SIDNEY — The construction project at Fair Haven has hit a bump in the road.

Administrator Anita Miller told Shelby County Commissioners Tuesday morning that the project is going to be delayed.

Miller explained when she began researching the project, it was determined a certificate of need would not have to be filed with the state as “we were not buying, selling or changing beds. If the capital project is for more than $2 million in expenditures, then you’re required to do a certificate of need.”

The construction and renovation project is a multi-phased project which will add 24 private rooms for short-term rehabilitation with a dedicated gym and dining space receiving rehabilitation. The first phase will add 68 private rooms and four companion suites for couples.

Miller said she was made aware of the changes in law by Kendra German, who is the administrator for Ottawa County Riverview Healthcare Campus. Miller said the attorney working the Riverview said he would help with the application for the certificate of need.

“Matt (Jones) and I believe we can do the application ourselves,” said Miller. The estimated cost for an attorney to write the application, she said, is $15,000.

Jones, said Miller after the meeting, is the president of Professional Revenue Network, which works with the nursing home in its reporting of medicare and medicaid and budget analysis.

“I’m trying to look for a silver lining in this delay,” said Miller, who said it could take four to six months for the state to approve the certificate of need.”It’s frustrating that we’re slowing the project down by four months.

“Matt and I have talked that when we do this (certificate of need) that we transfer 20 beds to the commissioner’s office and the Sheriff’s Office.” Those beds would be used for the transitional housing building which is being planned for next to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Miller said it will cost $20,000 to file the application with the state.

“These bigger changes can help with the goals of the sheriff’s office,” said Miller. “What we’d like is for the commissioners to walk it (certificate of need) through the state offices. You have more clout down there than we do.

“This will also help meet the goals of the sheriff’s office and show that we another county that’s working together and sharing our resources.”

Miller said she and Jones had met Saturday to go over the application. She also wants to get Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services and the sheriff’s office on board with the application process.

Miller said phases 1 and 2 of the Fair Haven project, along with the transitional housing, will be part of one certificate of need. When it comes time for phase 3 of the Fair Haven project another certificate of need will have to be submitted.

“We’ll be looking at our finances after phases 1 and 2 before going onto phase 3,” said Miller.

The commissioners told Miller to begin the application process with assistance from Jones.

“I’m very disappointed about this four to six month delay,” said Miller. “But in the big scheme of things, this will be a win/win for Shelby County.

“The residents and their families are owed an explanation of why they are going to have to wait on the services,” said Miller. “And that’s on me to explain.”

Commissioner Tony Bornhorst said he’ll be sharing his opinions on the $20,000 application fee for the certificate of need with Rep. Keith Faber, Rep. Nino Vitale and Sen. Matt Huffman.

The project, said Miller, can’t be bid until the certificate of need is approved.

Fair Haven owns 145 beds, said Miller. In 2001, the nursing home banked 11 beds with the state to create private suites.

“The new building plan is for 125 beds,” said Miller. “That leaves us with 20 extra beds. Our goal is work with the sheriff and utilize the beds in the transitional housing facility. The beds are all dually certified as medicare and medicaid.”

Certificate of need required

By Melanie Speicher

mspeicher@aimmedianetwork.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.