BOZEMAN — Last week, Gallatin County Commissioners unanimously approved a final budget of roughly $200 million dollars for next year.
Within the budget was nearly $750,000 dollars going to the Gallatin Rest Home.
“The Gallatin Rest Home is a skilled nursing facility. We’re open 24/7 and we provide rehabilitation services so people who’ve had stroke or surgery, that type of thing, that are no longer able to be in the hospital but they’re still needing some physical occupation, or speech therapy, they can come here and get that,” said Darcel Vaughn, Administrator at Gallatin Rest Home.
In the last few years, the Gallatin Rest Home has had some difficulty making ends meet.
One of the biggest reasons is that most of the patients residing at the Gallatin Rest Home are paying through Medicaid.
“When you’re talking about nursing home care costing $5,000-6,000 a month, there’s not too many people even working that would be able to afford that,” said Vaughn.
“The patient is still paying a certain position based on their income. But then Medicaid pays the rest.”
Vaungh says currently, the Gallatin Rest home is only getting paid about $201 per day per resident, but it cost closer $300 a day to care for many of these patients.
And that’s causing a serious financial strain for the Rest Home. The $750,000 of funding from the county is only a band-aid until a more permanent solution is decided on.
“So what we’ve decided to do is this year we gave them some one time funding, to meet their operational expenses through this year realizing that next year we’ll probably have to give them another bump into one time funding,” said Gallatin County Commissioner, Joe Skinner.
“But after that, we plan on having enough time by then to either do something different or to go out for a mill levy.”
Vaughn worked in Madison County at the county rest homes before starting at the Gallatin Rest Home in July 2019, and says a mill levy that passed by voters there now provides sustainable funding for business operations.
She says that may be the key solution for Gallatin County.
Commissioners also say an uptick in private rest homes and in-home health care has also added to the Gallatin Rest Home’s financial struggles.