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PIONEER NURSING HOME COULD LOSE $200,000

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A county-operated nursing home stands to lose $200,000 in 1993, with approximately $108,331 "lost forever," according to an accountant for the facility.

Ted Stagg of Stagg and Associates, which oversees accounts for Pioneer Nursing Home in Brigham City, told Box Elder commissioners recently that because the nursing home provides higher-than-standard care its costs are considerably higher than at comparable facilities. Stagg said Pioneer pays its nursing staff higher wages and benefits and spends more on food.Stagg predicts even bigger losses if costs are not cut by either an increased county subsidy at taxpayer expense or by cutting staff.

According to Stagg, Medicaid reimburses a straight $37.24 per day per patient. Pioneer's actual daily cost is $42.27 per patient. Medicare payments are also less than costs, but some of that can be recouped through appeals.

Commissioners agreed they face a difficult task of deciding how to cut costs while maintaining excellent care.