Fulton County clears infirmary ties

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County government last month formally ended its financial connections with the former county Residential Health Care Facility, which it had operated from the 1960s until early last year.

“We have closed that out a month ago,” county Treasurer Terry Blodgett said Wednesday.

The county sold its former 176-bed nursing home on County Highway 122 for $3.5 million to a private company, Bronx-based Centers for Specialty Care, effective March 31, 2012. It is now known as the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare.

The county sold the nursing home in a move to strengthen the county’s financial footing. The sale process, overseen by the state Department of Health, took more than two years to conclude.

But both Blodgett and county Administrative Officer Jon Stead said they have been dealing since early 2012 with leftover paperwork, mostly related to federal reimbursement.

“There were some Medicaid adjustments from 2011 and the first three or four months of 2012,” Blodgett said.

Stead concurred Wednesday that county government’s involvement with the former infirmary has basically ceased. He said there has been some “clearing” of reimbursements, but “that’s pretty much wrapped up.”

“We’ve really been in transition activities,” Stead said.

He said the county hasn’t actually had an employee working on infirmary matters since last year. Former infirmary Controller Suzanne Rose last worked on such matters in the fall, assisting the county with auditing.

“At this point, we don’t have any more direct involvement with the nursing home,” Stead said.

Stead said the county occasionally receives “very sporadic” requests for information related to county government’s past involvement in the facility. He said insurance companies will request information about a patient’s records. Such county records regarding patients stayed at the facility after the change from as public to private facility.

“Other than that, we’re pretty much wrapped up on that [transition],” Stead said.

Michael Anich can be contacted by email at manich@leaderherald.com.