HEFLIN — The staff and management at the Cleburne County Nursing Home were surprised two weeks ago when a federal inspector showed up to inspect the facility.
Stephanie Hamar, director of nursing at the nursing home, told the Cleburne County Hospital Board Thursday night that an inspector from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services from Atlanta found no deficiencies.
Last month the nursing home received no deficiencies from two state inspections — which probably caught the eye of the federal center, prompting a visit by an inspector to verify the stellar reports, according to Hamar.
Hamar and her staff were caught off guard when the inspector visited but were relieved when the inspection was finished.
“We were very proud. I was very proud of my staff, we have a great team, with it being unexpected it kinda threw us for a loop but they all perform well like they always do ... I’m blessed to have the best team around,” Hamar said.
In other developments, the hospital board voted unanimously to spend $8,500 to construct a fence outside of the Alzheimer's ward so the residents can enjoy being outdoors.
Tracy Lambert, Cleburne EMS director, submitted the EMS budget for the fiscal year that begins October 1. That budget along with the nursing home budget will be discussed at a work session on September 10 at the nursing home.
Lambert said his budget is $1,077,000, which is up only four percent from last year.
Lambert is concerned about the recent decline in call volume the EMS has experienced compared to last year.
Lambert also said this year the EMS is not getting paid for 62.8 percent of the calls the service runs. In 2018 and 2017 the EMS got paid roughly for half of the calls the agency responded to.
Lambert said if the EMS got paid for all the emergency calls it ran, the agency would no longer need taxpayer money.
“That’s why this is a service and that’s why tax dollars go to it, to be able to serve the people even though we’re not getting paid for almost half of what we do,” Lambert said.
Board member Dan Hopkins told the board that the repaving of the nursing home parking lot is not going as smoothly as expected.
Hopkins said that contractors have hit three sections of bad soil which had to be dug up and have removed 2,000 cubic yards of rock. He said the cost of the $350,000 project might have to be adjusted to accommodate the extra work, while another option would be to eliminate some of the parking spots or an access road for deliveries.
The board will discuss the matter at the next work session.
The board also talked about replacing the aging generator which is used during power outages at the nursing home. The generator is not sufficient to supply enough electricity in case of an outage, according to Hopkins. The board will discuss the generator and possible options to replace it during the next work session.