May 30, 2020

Bangor council to mull expanding services at nursing facility

BANGOR — A possible expansion of services for the City Nursing Facility again will be the topic when the City Council holds a workshop at 5 p.m. today at City Hall.

Councilors will gather to hear the presentation of an analysis on the facility done by the Portland firm of Baker, Newman and Noyes.

City Manager Edward Barrett had not seen the report late last week, but he described it as “a financial feasibility analysis of the fiscal impact” of adding boarding home services to the CNF’s current skilled and nursing home services.

The city-owned facility, which evolved from the city’s poor farm 100 years ago, moved its nursing home into the old Dow Air Force Base Hospital when the base closed. Medicare, Medicaid, insurance and private payments cover the costs of the 61 beds.

But like other nursing homes, the CNF is finding it difficult to keep its beds filled, thanks to the stricter admission regulations of Med ’94, which diverts all but the sickest from nursing homes.

The city subsidy to the facility is expected to be $204,000 this year, up $49,000 from a year ago.

The theory that a broader array of services would help the financial picture has been discussed for the past few years.

The CNF already has expanded some of its services to include things like specialized respiratory care, and also has discussed the idea of an adult day care program.

Bangor officials are not alone in pondering what to do with a facility that serves a mission, yet pinches city finances.

According to a recent Maine Sunday Telegram story, Sanford already has sold its city-owned health facility. In Portland, the 130-bed Barron Center is expected to need almost $288,000 in city funds this year, with some officials saying the facility should be sold to a private company.

Bangor’s City Nursing Facility is recruiting a new administrator for the second time in 16 months. Nursing director Ann White currently is serving as acting administrator.

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