Reshaping County Services

On June 1, 2013, the County exited the nursing home business with the sale of the Jefferson County Rehabilitation and Health Center, more commonly known as the County Home or the County Nursing Home.  The facility originally opened in the early 1930s as an alms house or “poor farm” to care for the needs of the indigent and mentally ill of Jefferson County.  Its mission evolved over time to where it eventually became a nursing home with, at one time, more than 500 licensed beds.

The sale of the County Home has been an often discussed topic at the County Commission for some time.  In fact, a 2004 study conducted by Auburn University recommended the sale of the nursing home and the previous Commission attempted to sell the home prior to leaving office in 2010. 

After a competitive bid process in the fall of 2011, the current Commission approved the sale of the County Home’s 238 bed licenses for $8.3 million.  And earlier this year, the Commission approved the sale of the County Home’s real estate and facilities for nearly $3 million. 

The new owner of the County Home is continuing to operate the facility as a private nursing home that accepts both Medicaid and Medicare patients.  It’s important to note that all of the County’s former nursing patients remain at the facility—no residents were forced to move because of the change in ownership.

The sale of the County Home was significant for many reasons.  By breaking up the assets, the County received more than $11 million in much-needed cash for a facility that was appraised for approximately $8 million.  The sale eliminates the County Home’s multi-million dollar annual operating losses and will result in the opening of two new privately-owned nursing homes in the county.  These new facilities will create more than 300 new jobs in the local health care sector and will result in increased city and county ad valorem and business license taxes for years to come

What’s wrong with this picture? Absolutely nothing!