Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Hilltop Care Center, a long-term care facility in Watkins, will be sold to ElderCare of Minnesota, Inc., according to a tentative agreement announced by the Paynesville Area Health Care System's District Board of Directors at their regular board meeting, held Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Following recommendations through strategic planning, financial and organizational studies, the Board of Directors were directed to take this action in the best interest for the future of Hilltop Care Center, its residents, its employees and for the Paynesville Area Health Care System.
Hilltop Care Center has a 32-year history in caring for seniors in Watkins, and was originally under the ownership of the City of Watkins, Good Neighbor Corporation and then Good Samaritan Society. Paynesville Area Health Care System (PAHCS) purchased Hilltop Care Center in 2002. The 50-bed facility has continually received 5-star ratings from the Minnesota Department of Health and employs 80 compassionate health care workers.
A meeting was held on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 25, with employees to inform them of the impending sale of Hilltop Care Center. Teigen stated that residents and families can be assured that it is the priority of Paynesville Area Health Care System and ElderCare of Minnesota, Inc. to provide a smooth transition of ownership and that no residents will be asked to relocate or leave.
Small, rural health care organizations rely heavily on state and federal reimbursements and are being faced with significant challenges with cuts and legislative changes in health care structure. Even with the increased reimbursement bill for Hilltop Care Center, part of the state budget bill that increases the daily bed rate for Hilltop because it is located within a quarter mile from another county that receives a higher per diem per resident bed, the PAHCS Board of Directors realizes the need to transition the facility. The board feels that this decision is in the best overall interest of residents, patients and for the long-term future of PAHCS.
"The Board of Directors remains focused on our mission of delivering top quality health care," stated Amundson. "We are dedicated to remaining an independent health care system and in order to meet the future healthcare needs of our health care district, the Board was challenged to make some difficult decisions, which will change the internal structure of our health care system. One of those decisions included the sale of Hilltop Care Center."
Teigen went on to thank the community of Watkins for its unwavering support and commitment to Hilltop Care Center. "We are grateful for the support we have received from the Watkins community, and we are pleased that Jim and Kathy Birchem, owners of ElderCare of Minnesota, Inc. have committed to continuing senior services and employment in the Watkins community.
At this time, the deadline for completion of the transaction is set for no later than February 2012. However, both parties have agreed that if all the necessary paperwork and due diligence are completed prior to that date, the transfer of ownership will happen sooner. Communication plans are in place to keep patients, residents, families, employees, volunteers, providers and members of the hospital district informed through the process. Paynesville Area Health Care System will continue serving quality care to residents without interruption until the sale is finalized.