Saratoga County cuts home care programs

Source: Paul Post, Troy Record, March 20, 2016

Saratoga County is terminating its home health and long-term home care programs Monday, a move that will save $400,000, but eliminate 12 jobs. CSEA Local 1000, which represents employees, criticized the cuts, saying workers and patients were given about 30 days’ notice – a decision made secretively without public input or review. But county Administrator Spencer Hellwig said home services are no longer needed because six other private agencies now provide the same type of care. … Eight full- and two part-time nurses lost jobs along with six clerical workers. Six others, both nurses and clerical workers, took jobs elsewhere within the Public Health Department. Some employees decided to retire. The home health agency program was caring for 25 local residents. However, most were short-term patients recovering from surgery or in similar circumstances. There was one long-term patient, Hellwig said. … The visiting nurse program’s elimination is the second major cut in county healthcare in the past year. In early 2015, the county completed sale of its nursing home, Maplewood Manor, to a private Long Island-based firm. The nursing facility had been costing the county more than $10 million annually, raising concerns from the state comptroller’s office about the county’s overall fiscal condition.