Archive for the ‘Runnells’ Category

Runnells Update

In addition to the salary hikes that will be given out at tomorrow evening’s freeholder meeting there will be this holdover from the fiasco regarding the sale of Runnells Hospital:
2016- 996: Authorizing the County Manager to continue a Lease Agreement with Runnells BH Operating Inc., for the operations of Cornerstone Behavioral Health Hospital including 44 beds and office space with a 2% increase as per sale agreement for the period January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

Still some glitches per last week’s agenda meeting:
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Who’s Malpracticing Here?

On March 26,2015 this resolution was passed unanimously:

2015-268: Approving the Medical Malpractice Liability policy for Dr. Raymond Lanza, at Runnells Specialized Hospital, with Princeton Insurance Company, Princeton, New Jersey, for the period of May 1, 2015 through May 1, 2016 in the amount of $13,642.69.

which almost mirrored a resolution passed unanimously on May 8, 2014:

2014-395: Approving the medical malpractice Liability policy for Dr. Raymond Lanza, at Runnells Specialized Hospital with Princeton Insurance Company, Princeton, New Jersey, for the period of May 1, 2014 through May 1, 2015 in the amount of $13,642.69. (This policy represents a decrease of $1,515.52 from last year’s policy).

and led to the obvious question about why the policy premium did not go way down after the nursing home portion of Runnells was privatized and Dr. Lanza only had duties as the medical director of the Cornerstone Psychiatric unit:
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Yet on the application submitted for the 2015 policy Dr. Lanza’s office in Warren is named when asked to list “all locations where you currently will be working for which you are applying for this insurance coverage”:

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and McAulley Hall is listed a facility where Dr. Lanza practices as Medical Director:

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Who Gets County Unemployment Benefits

At the end of 2014 Union County is being charged for 64 former (presumably) employees receiving unemployment benefits according to Form B187Q.

Cross-checking against past employee lists going back to 2010 and creating a spreadsheet shows those 64 breaking down into categories:

  • Runnells – 33
  • Seasonal – 16
  • Unknown – 10
  • Other Departments – 5

The obvious questions:

  1. Why would anyone have stayed with Center Management? (assuming they did – it could be that Center Management laid the rest of the county staff in early 2015 so that the county would be on the hook for their unemployment benefits)
  2. Since when do seasonal employees get unemployment benefits?
  3. Since when do employees who have not appeared on any employee list in 5 years get unemployment benefits?

 

Runnells Budget Impact

In budget hearings the sale of Runnells was mentioned as an accomplishment:
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But check out the 2015 Union County executive budget and you won’t find a chapter on Runnells this year though there is still plenty in the numbers section and it still shows Runnells losing money (even without considering the cost of pension and health benefits for county employees):

runnells budgets

 

The best explanations available of the numbers:

County Board of Pay Patients: Probably the money Runnells generates from the patients, including from insurance

Maintenance of patients with mental diseases: money that DMHAS pays for psychiatry patients who are indigent. This is the pot of gold that Center Management (CM) wants which requires a separate license that the County still holds until CM is deemed qualified by the state. One source believes that CM does have the DOH license for the whole facility so they could run Cornerstone if they wanted but would not get the $8.4 million from DMHAS.

Peer Grouping: according to an nj.com story:

The Association of Counties has advocated to the state government on behalf of the facilities, successfully lobbying for a freezing of Medicaid reimbursement rates until 2016 and a phasing out of $30 million in “peer grouping” funding that was established 20 years ago to help county nursing homes offset costs private facilities don’t face, such as pension payments for its public workers. That funding — 10 to 15 percent of which was required to go toward community programs such as Meals on Wheels — was originally set to be terminated all-together, and the phasing out now allows counties to plan ahead, Donnadio said.

And according to Union County:
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UCCF 3/12/15: Exxon Budget Hypocrisy

2015-222 FREEHOLDER CHRISTOPHER HUDAK & THE ENTIRE BOARD: Resolution strongly condemns and opposes the State of New Jersey’s proposed settlement with Exxon Mobile Corporation for $225 million because it is grossly inappropriate, improper, and wholly inadequate.

There was general agreement that this was a slimy budget-balancing ploy even by those who do it regularly.

Before watching the videos please note that in the Revenue Schedule of the 2015 executive budget the last line item reads:

Proceed from Sale – Runnells…………………457,106.25

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Exxon resolution question and answer:
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Exxon-Runnells connection and response:
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Exxon-Runnells follow-up
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Freeholders response:
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Protections for Runnells County Employees and Residents

Article V and VI of the Union County/Center Management Agreement listed protections for Runnells county employees and residents respectively.  Here they are with emphasis added:

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Runnells Sale Snafus

It was supposed to be a clean sale that would allow Union County to be out of the nursing home business and the Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) to pay their bills for years to come but, based on the various sale agreements now in our possession, it’s another case of fubar for Union County.

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