San Francisco’s Jewish Home is once again accepting applications for long-term skilled nursing care services following a 16-month hiatus.
CEO Daniel Ruth announced in March 2011 that his facility was “temporarily suspending” such applications.
However, there is a catch to this week’s announcement. If a pending lawsuit to strike down proposed cuts in Medi-Cal reimbursements fails, Ruth says he will be forced to severely limit the number of applications the Home can accept.
Still, the resumption is good news for the Jewish Home, which serves more than 400 people annually, most of them eligible for Medi-Cal.
“It tells the community in a very clear way that the Jewish Home has been here for 140-plus years,” Ruth said, “and while we’re going to evolve and change, we’re an important resource for this Jewish community.”
The reasons for the suspension had as much to do with logistics as anything else. The Jewish Home’s west building, constructed in 1923, had never been brought up to code in terms of emergency sprinklers. With an August 2013 deadline looming, and with the cost of an upgrade hovering around $1 million, the Home’s board decided to shut down the building.
That meant no new residents could move into the west building. Existing residents were gradually moved to other buildings on the Home’s Silver Avenue campus. Ruth said that at first, he couldn’t predict how long it would take to complete the transition.
“It meant we couldn’t take long-term care applications into other buildings, because beds [were not] available while we were moving residents. The whole process went extremely well from a time and efficiency perspective. Now we are able to reopen long-term care admissions.”
Ruth says the west building will eventually be demolished.
The Home also recently celebrated receiving a five-star rating from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the highest rating possible.
“Every year the Jewish Home and every other home in the United States gets surveyed by state and federal licensors,” Ruth noted. “We have been rated five stars in every category and metric they evaluate. For the community and for us, it’s more than a good housekeeping seal. It’s a valuation from those who understand the operations best that we’re a very fine provider.”
Ruth also noted that Moldaw Family Residences, located at Palo Alto’s Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life and managed by the Jewish Home, is “turning a corner” in a tough economic climate.
The 176-resident facility, which includes multi-bedroom apartments as well as assisted-living and memory-support residences, had filled only 40 units six months after its 2009 opening, according to the Palo Alto Weekly.
But now, thanks to some price reductions and loan restructuring, the occupancy rate is 65 percent, Ruth said, with about 150 residents in all. He noted that memory-support and assisted-living units are full, and that “move-ins are on the upswing.”