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WakeMed to close two nursing centers

Posted August 7, 2013

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— WakeMed said Wednesday that it would close skilled nursing operations in Fuquay-Varina and eastern Wake County as the hospital system tries to adjust to the changing health care market.

The Zebulon/Wendell Outpatient & Skilled Nursing Facility offers short-stay skilled nursing care, with an average length of stay of 30 days. Skilled nursing patients will stop being admitted on Thursday, and current patients will be discharged after their course of care is complete, officials said. The facility’s outpatient lab and imaging services will also close, while outpatient rehabilitation and leased physician office space will remain open.

The Fuquay-Varina Outpatient & Skilled Nursing Facility offers longer-term skilled nursing care for patients with chronic health problems. WakeMed case managers will work with patients to find an appropriate facility to care for their individual needs by Sept. 30. The facility’s outpatient rehabilitation practice will also close, and patients will be redirected to the WakeMed Outpatient Rehab service operated at Kraft YMCA in Apex.

“These changes came after much thoughtful consideration about how WakeMed’s resources could best be allocated,” WakeMed President and Chief Executive Dr. Bill Atkinson said in an email to employees. “This is a time of significant change in health care, and we have a responsibility to ensure everything we do supports WakeMed’s ability to provide access to quality care at a reasonable cost.”

WakeMed officials noted that the hospital system will receive $23.6 million less in fiscal year 2014 because of new state and federal regulations and changes to reimbursement rates.

“We established skilled nursing services at these facilities over 20 years ago to address a shortage of skilled nursing care in our community," Atkinson said. "Over the years, changes in Medicare rules have spurred the addition of many skilled nursing facilities in our community, many of which are larger and better able meet the growing demand for long-term care while also offering more services for the benefit of patients."

Elaine Rohlik, WakeMed's executive director of rehab and trauma services, said the two facilities have always operated at a loss.

"We have always lost money in the tens of millions, and it has gotten worse over time," she said. "(With) these other financial cuts to the healthcare environment and the healthcare reimbursement structure right now, we can no longer afford to sustain those kinds of losses."

The closures will affect 99 full- and part-time employees, and WakeMed officials said they are working to find them other jobs.

WakeMed also will eliminate 14 jobs in its translation services department by outsourcing such services to InDemand Interpreting, which provides computer-based interpretation services in 180 languages to hospitals throughout the country.

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  • Hubris Aug 8, 2013

    "WakeMed officials noted that the hospital system will receive $23.6 million less in fiscal year 2014 because of new state and federal regulations and changes to reimbursement rates."

    Thank You ObamaCare!!!!

  • Billy the Kid Aug 8, 2013

    "I anxiously await the GOP’s solution to provide everyone with affordable healthcare." 42

    Keep waiting. It's not gubbermints job to provide you with such.

  • djhartm Aug 8, 2013

    @heelsgirl05 "also, Obamacare policies have already been implemented-free birth control, nutrition counseling, and I think some aspects of maternity care and checkups are completely covered too."

    I love this. Exactly what do you mean by 'free'?

    Oh wait, you, your employer & I pay, but it is 'free' to an Obamacare member who was previously under/uninsured.

    Ain't socialized healthcare grand?

  • djhartm Aug 8, 2013

    @soyousay "Not good! Thanks Obamacare!..

    realy silly slogans don'tt solve problems from a system that has been broken for decades."

    Really, define 'broke'? Seemed to work very well for my family, my parent's families, etc...

    Silly responses don't correct the heinous overtaking of the nation's healthcare system by the government.

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone Aug 8, 2013

    I anxiously await the GOP’s solution to provide everyone with affordable healthcare.

    *crickets*

  • heelsgirl05 Aug 8, 2013

    also, Obamacare policies have already been implemented-free birth control, nutrition counseling, and I think some aspects of maternity care and checkups are completely covered too.

  • heelsgirl05 Aug 8, 2013

    yup....my insurance premiums have gone up by 50%. Not only is Wakemed laying off people, they are facing huge financial shortfall for FY 2014. and FYI, there are 1.5 million un/underinsured in NC-the medicaid expansion would have only 500,000, leaving a million (2/3) left without insurance or underinsured. It would have been a waste of money, and put us further in debt.

  • soyousay Aug 8, 2013

    Not good! Thanks Obamacare!..

    realy silly slogans don'tt solve problems from a system that has been broken for decades.

  • soyousay Aug 8, 2013

    True on the books. ..

    geesh..no there is no "obamacare" to blame. period. and WakeMed isn't the only one having to take it on the chin becuase of the uninsured or underinsured over the last several decades- and that is what this is really about, not some odd obsession with a cute slogan by the uniformed....expanding medicaid, cheaper insure for others would have helped, why do you think the hospital lobbies wanted it-and the chamber of commerce. It didnt just happen now and everyone knows it.
    THe nursing home in F-V was for those who had no payment source and without a bigger payer base (medicaid and newwer insureds) it can't be afforded any more. Way before 2008, children, hospitals across NC were teetering on the brink. Oddly deaf to that and the needs of those it would have benefited, the clown show in Raleigh has only made it worse.

  • icdumbpeople Aug 8, 2013

    “Nothing about obamacare has been put in place and people are already blaming that for the this problem”

    True on the books. However, the insurance companies have already raised rates gearing up for Obamacare - they will rise again once this is official and on the books.
    You are very naive if you really believe that obamacare has not already had drastic changes on us financially and the economy. You have not seen nothing yet. Open your eyes.

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