Blair Officials point out that they are no longer mandated by the state to operate a county nursing home. That plus uncertainty in this nation's health care delivery system is why this might be a good time to put the nursing home on the market according to the Commissioners.
The Valley View nursing home has been operated by the county at its current location for more than 65 years. While the financial condition of the home has improved in recent years, its on-going operation is still a financial worry for county leaders.
The Blair Commissioners say there could be significant financial advantages in selling the home to a private operator. There would be an up-front payment to the County. Future real estate taxes could be collected by Blair County, the City of Altoona and the Altoona Area School district. And the sale of the home would reduce county expenses and liabilities in the future.
Some employees of the home say the privatization would hurt them and the people in their care. Other workers say bringing in a private operator has the potential to change the way patients and workers are treated.
County officials agree the home is a valuable resource to the community but they point out providing skilled nursing care to the financially disadvantaged is no longer a county responsibility.
While there is still a lot of work that has to be done before the Nursing Home can be offered for sale, the Blair County Commissioners say there are financial advantages that would follow the sale of facility and they are ready now to talk with a broker that may help them find a buyer for the Home.