Why have the bed numbers in MBH been decreasing over the years?

Did you know this about the Mountrail County Health Center? 

Over the past couple of years, members at the Mountrail County Health Center have been answering questions, comments or concerns they have heard on the street from patients, community members or employees. Over the next year, we will be revisiting these old Did You Know’s, taking the ones that need updating, and letting you know how we have changed it, hopefully for the better.  If you have a specific non-health related question you want an answer to, please email that question to severett@stanleyhealth.org

 Why have the beds at MBH been decreasing over the years?

For years, the Mountrail Bethel Home was a 57 bed skilled nursing home facility, with a waiting list.  Now, we are a 36 bed skilled nursing home facility with 12 beds on “layaway” (meaning they are not being used).  This is due to the “great depression lull.”  Within ten years, by 2029,  recent studies done by Strengthen ND show that our 65+ age group is projected to increase 45.4%, much due to the Baby Boomers aging. With that happening, we won’t be able to find an open bed in North Dakota.

We know here at the Mountrail Bethel Home that the landscape has changed.  More elderly are staying home longer or moving into Assisted Livings, rather than nursing homes. Over the next couple of years, a committee comprised of board members and MBH employees will be strategically planning what the future MBH will look like.  Should we build a 48 bed Nursing Home with an Alzheimer’s Wing?  Should we build a 36 bed nursing home and build more Assisted Living apartments?  Should we bring basic care into our nursing home care plan?

In order to move forward like we want to, we need to have immediate help from the community.  We need to fill our beds to 36 residents again.  Our care at MBH is top notch.  We love and deeply care for our residents and it shows.  The Mountrail Bethel Home has achieved the highest ranking for safety and quality from CMS a Nursing Home can reach – a 5 – Star rating.

We are up against a variety of obstacles, one being:   “Why is it so expensive to have our loved one in the Nursing home?”   Usually a loved one is in the nursing home because the family cannot take care of them at home anymore.  They are here at the Mountrail Bethel Home so that our qualified staff can take care of them with any needs that arise 24/7. With that being said, each resident care level is different.  There are 48 levels a resident may be in.  Each of those levels is set according to specific criteria.  The MDS Coordinator has a forty page complete assessment which is done every three months on each resident.  This assessment determines which level a resident falls into.  The assessment looks at the resident’s memory and cognitive state, any diagnoses they have that are being treated, how much assistance they require with their cares (dressing, eating, transferring, bathing, mobility, walking, toileting, and personal cares), if they need wound care, oxygen, IV, special cares, dietary needs, have incontinence, order changes, doctor visits, and a comprehensive review of their chart.

Rates in the nursing home are determined by the state of North Dakota every year in December based upon cost reports filed by each facility.  The reason the government has such a comprehensive influence on the rates is due to the fact that skilled nursing facilities are state and federally funded.  The state of ND has rate equalization.  We want it that way.  Rate equalization means that MBH charges the same rate for Medicaid patients versus Self Pay.  States like South Dakota do not have rate equalization.  Who picks up the tab on the low paying Medicaid rate are the self-pay nursing home residents.  That is why the state is seeing such a high rate of nursing homes closing.  The linked article shared by the North Dakota Long Term Care Association is heartbreaking at best.  (Nursing Homes Are Closing Across Rural America, Scattering Residents https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/04/us/rural-nursing-homes-closure.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage)

We here in Stanley don’t want to scatter our residents across ND and take them away from the community they grew up in and helped mold.  We are committed to this community, which is the reason we are building a 14 unit Assisted Living, Rosen Place on 8th, to allow our residents to not have to move to Minot and beyond when they see they need more care than their home can offer. That is also the reason we want to methodically plan the future footprint of the Mountrail Bethel Home.

Please contact Kelly Gustavson with any of your needs and questions by calling 628-2442, ext. 118.  If you want further information in regards to where your loved one fits on the Long Term Care Decision tree, please go to https://carechoice.nd.assistguide.net/.  We sincerely thank you for your continued support of Mountrail County Medical Center and Mountrail Bethel Home!

Many Avenues…One Goal…Your Health!

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