County looks at discontinuing home health nurses; assures care will continue

NORWICH – The Chenango County Board of Supervisors heard Monday a brief summary of the issues that surround a Public Health Department suggestion to close its home healthcare unit.

The suggestion was reviewed by members of the Health and Human Services Committee prior to yesterday’s board meeting. Department Director Marcus Flindt said details of the plan would be further resolved in committee later this month before coming to a vote before town supervisors in March. Any closure plan would then be subject to New York State Department of Health approvals, he said.



The proposed change could save the county about $200,000 in wages and benefits.

If the plan moves forward, the county’s home healthcare patients would be afforded equal and uninterrupted care by private sector homecare agencies pre-approved by the state health department. The private agencies would service the entire county, offer the full range of services as entitled through payer sources and be held to the same guidelines as the county’s health department.

“The only thing that will change for the residents of this county would be their provider agency. The transition from the county to a private agency should be a seamless process, virtually unnoticed by residents,” a press release from the county’s health department states.

“Nobody’s going to be abandoned,” Nursing Director Marianne Kirsch said. “There will be patients we’ve had for a number of years who are going to have a hard time with this. We don’t want them to think we are abandoning them or that their care will be any less.”


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