Glen Haven Village Feeling Financial Impact Of Pandemic

COVID-19 has created many challenges for Glen Haven Village residents, staff and management.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on the Glen Haven Village skilled nursing care facility.

Glen Haven Village Administrator Julianne Marriott told members of the Glenwood City Council last week that the facility has felt a financial impact of $2.6 million since the pandemic began nearly two years ago.

That “cost” for Glen Haven Village was a result of added expenses and lost revenue, she said.

“If any of you were on the council when we started the Glen Haven Village project, it was well known that we put every single asset we had available to that project,” Marriott said.  “So, the timing of COVID was particularly devastating for us.”

Marriott and Barb Mass, a member of the Glen Haven Board of Directors, addressed city leaders at the Jan. 11 council meeting with a request that the non-profit nursing home be given consideration when the city decides how it will allocate the $803,000 in COVID-19 relief dollars it’s receiving from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The cottages at Glen Haven Village opened in August 2019 on the campus of the Glenwood Resource Center seven months before COVID-19 hit the state of Iowa and forced skilled care facilities to take unprecedented measures to ensure the safety of residents and staff.

The added expenses COVID-19 created for Glen Haven Village ranged from purchasing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to testing and hiring additional (pool labor) staffing. The pandemic also forced Glen Haven Village to turn its rehabilitation cottage into a quarantine unit, resulting in nearly $1 million in lost revenue.

“We have about 70 percent Medicaid” Marriott said. “We do that in order to make sure that payment is not a block to receiving care. In order to have that, we do rely on donor support and additional government support.”

Marriott said the facility is losing about $30 a day for each Medicaid resident it cares for. Having to shut down the rehabilitation cottage, where short-term residents typically have their expenses covered by

Medicare or private insurance, and turning it into the quarantine unit compounded the situation.  

“We had to use that space to quarantine Medicaid residents who were then occupying two rooms and underpaying for one room by $30 a day,” she said. “So, you can imagine how quickly that compounds. We also had to have a whole different set of staff for those people in quarantine.

“One month of staff at Cottage 247 (quarantine unit) is about $20,000, so if you have no additional revenue to cover that cost, you’re only getting what you’re getting for the long-term care cottages. They have a room somewhere else in the campus and you’re having to staff another person in another cottage while they quarantine without having additional revenue coming in. Times that by almost 24 months at this point. It really hurts.”

Marriott noted that not all residents placed in the quarantine unit tested positive for COVID-19. Some had to quarantine after returning from a hospital stay or leaving for the facility for a doctor’s appointment.

“We were doing that a lot and had to keep that Medicare cottage closed almost the entire year,” she said.

The Glen Haven Village rehabilitation cottage had over $500,000 in lost revenue in 2020 and over $300,000 in 2021, Marriott said. The cottage was reopened for its intended purpose - rehab - in late 2021.

Marriott said Glen Haven Village is not requesting a specific dollar contribution from the city or the county but only that the facility be given consideration for COVID relief funds.

“I think we’re just asking them to do an assessment of the damage done to the facility and help out in any way they possibly can to help secure our presence here for coming years,” she said.  

Glen Haven Village has made a similar request to the Mills County Board of Supervisors. The county is receiving over $2.9 million in ARPA funds. The county has been non-committal in allocating some of those funds to Glen Haven Village but did agree to pay the remainder of a $50,000 local option sales tax contribution pledged for the facility.

Glenwood Mayor Ron Kohn and members of the city council said they would consider Glen Haven’s situation but noted that no decision has been made on how the city will spend its ARPA funds.

“We haven’t made any decisions on how we’re going to split it, what we’re going to do with any of it,” council member Laurie Smithers said.

“As you know, when you look around the city of Glenwood, there’s a million avenues that we can spend the money and try and make amends.”

Both the city and county assisted Glen Haven in securing funding for the facility’s construction by signing loan guarantees in 2018 that served as collateral on a USDA Rural Development loan. The city agreed to a $200,000 income guarantee and the county agreed to approximately $2 million in loan guarantees.


The Opinion-Tribune

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