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Legislature Approves Sale of Home Health Agency

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Legislature Approves Sale of Home Health Agency

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The Legislature, by a vote of 11-4, approved sale of the County's Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) to the firm HCR, based in Rochester, NY, directing the County to enter into a sales agreement, pending State Health Department approval, for the CHHA's Operating Certificate. (Legislators Dooley Kiefer, Pam Mackesey, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne and Health and Human Services Chair Frank Proto voted no.) The action resolves a more than year-long process to determine the fate of the CHHA. HCR, one of two firms to respond to the County's Request for Proposals, has offered $850,000 to purchase the agency license. The action also authorizes the County Administrator to enter into a management contract with HCR, under which HCR will operate the CHHA on behalf of the County until the State approves the sale. Costs associated with the management agreement are expected to be more than offset by sale proceeds. The sale to HCR was recommended by the Legislature's Health and Human Services and budget committees.

Legislators Mackesey, Kiefer, and McBean-Clairborne said they do not have a problem with HCR, but voted no because they continue to believe the County should have retained the CHHA. Both McBean-Clairborne and Mackesey expressed displeasure about the effect on agency employees.

Health and Human Services Chair Frank Proto again thanked Health Department staff for their work during a difficult process, and noted that despite his opposition to divestiture, he is tremendously impressed with HCR and the County is now ready to move forward with the process and to work with HCR to see that citizens receive the type of care to which the community is accustomed.

Tompkins County made the difficult decision to divest of the CHHA in light of deep state aid cuts for operation of such agencies, forcing annual expenditure in local dollars of $400,000 each year.