Evansville Manor: Skilled Healthcare & Rehabilitation

From the Administrator

December 2017

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and celebrated it properly without being overshadowed by the advent of Christmas coming shortly.  I always remember a dear former resident, Agnes Harms, a retired teacher, who felt that Thanksgiving was a much overlooked holiday because everyone was already focused on Christmas.  I promised her that I would not begin wearing my Christmas neckties until after the Thanksgiving Day weekend, and will continue this tradition in her honor. 

However, by the time you receive this Manor Messenger we will be past the Thanksgiving Holiday and even Agnes would now approve of our Christmas messages to you.  Karen Berger & Diana Crans advise that Santa is scheduled to be here on Saturday, 12/23 ( a little early as he plans to be very busy on the 24th & 25th), just prior to his "round the world tour", so be sure and be good (at least until then).

By the way, it is my understanding that a "New Year's Eve party" is being scheduled, but I don't know the exact day so "stay tuned".

On a more mundane note, I need to remind everyone that holiday decorations must meet regulatory Fire & Safety Codes covering nursing homes.  These limit the quantity of decorations, basically smaller displays, especially those on resident room walls.  Nothing is permitted on resident room doors, including the use of wreath hangers or items hung on the door latching hardware (door knobs).  The use of any extension cords, multiple type plug adapters, power strips, or the "daisy chaining" of lights is NOT permitted.  Greenery cut from real plants, such as wreaths or boughs, are not permitted and those that are artificial must be flame retardant AND labeled accordingly.  There are probably even more rules that I have forgotten to include…Sheesh, but you get the idea.

To reiterate from the previous month's message, Medicare open enrollment ends December 7th, in case anyone is planning on making such a change.  As a cautionary note, a number of people have elected a Medicare Replacement "Advantage" Part C plan, which replaces the traditional Medicare Parts A, B, & D.  Although this does provide some of the similar coverages, usually at a reduced monthly premium rate, these Medicare Replacement "Advantage" Part C plans do not provide the identical coverage of traditional Medicare and many insured's are "unpleasantly surprised" at the reduced coverage periods, additional deductible and co-pay differences, as well as somewhat frequent denial of coverage in many instances when the need is deemed necessary and/or could have been covered under traditional Medicare.  Our experience here at Evansville Manor is consistent with reports from others throughout Wisconsin.  Residents and families of those whom we have served have expressed concerns and confusion, ESPECIALLY WITH HUMANA and United Health Care policies, among others.

If you have, or contemplate electing coverage of a Medicare Replacement "Advantage" Plan (Part C), be sure that you understand the differences in coverage, and especially, the deductibles and co-pays, as well as the risk of coverage denial, and for coverage following post-acute hospital care.

As always each month at this time of the year, I need to remind everyone to be sure and get influenza vaccinated, especially prior to visiting our residents, and also especially for children.  Anyone exhibiting respiratory distress symptoms, or if in contact with those who are, should refrain from visiting.  If anything is questionable, or if someone has not been vaccinated for any reason, they should mask, covering both the mouth and nose, when in the building.

It should also be noted that any gastrointestinal distress symptoms (often call stomach flu) should also be addressed in the same above manner as indicated for influenza.  AND "ALWAYS WASH THOSE HANDS"!

As has been suggested previously, we are including a listing of the employees who will celebrate Evansville Manor employment dates during this coming month. We, therefore, want to acknowledge all of those employees accordingly and you will find the current month's personnel in the attached.  Congratulations to all.  We appreciate your loyalty and dedication to us and our residents.

One more thing that I wish to share, which promises to be the last thing that I will share with you in these Manor Messenger articles.  Most of you know of the pending ownership change scheduled for December 1st, presumably to have taken place prior to the printing of this article.

First a little history.  The Evansville community was the first one in Wisconsin to venture forth with construction of a skilled nursing facility (nursing home) as a community project "so if area residents needed this care, it could be right here rather than needing to go elsewhere to another city".  A number of communities subsequently followed this idea, although the majority elected to lease the operations to existing experienced corporate operators due to the complexities of regulations and reimbursement.  Several, such Evansville, Mt. Horeb, East Troy, Spring Green, etc., felt they would take the risk in order to maintain local control.  Over the years, regulation and reimbursement requirements have increased such that today, only two facilities, Evansville & Spring Green, have continued to operate as a community project while the rest have now been absorbed by multi-facility operations. 

Nothing is wrong with that and, in fact, it is probably necessary in order to consolidate tasks & distribute some of the expenses experienced of a single free standing facility such as ours.  Therefore, on December 1st, Evansville Manor will/has become part of a new ownership that includes a facility in Fond du Lac and, also, in Ripon Wisconsin.

As part of the ownership change it is intended that a replacement licensed administrator will also be taking my place and, hence, this will be my last Manor Messenger contribution.  I can't tell you what a wonderful experience it has been over these last almost 47 years, mostly due to the great people with whom I have worked and the many residents that have transitioned through our doors.

Have a great December and I want to personally wish everyone a Merry Christmas, although a little early at present.

Cliff