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LeROY — LeRoy Manor, a nursing home with 66 residents and about 75 full- and part-time employees, will close by March 31, with owners citing poor Medicaid reimbursement by the state.

The skilled care facility, 509 S. Buck Road, announced the closing Monday.

"It's an unfortunate day," said Jason Young, administrator for Liberty Village of LeRoy and LeRoy Manor. The village includes LeRoy Manor and The Villas Single Family Homes, which aren't affected by the closing.

"This was not a decision that was taken lightly," Young told The Pantagraph late Monday afternoon.

Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, confirmed that IDPH had been notified that the facility will close by March 31. State law requires that nursing homes must give the state 60 days' notice prior to closing and the facility must include a closure plan addressing the process for the safe and orderly transfer of residents.

"The (LeRoy Manor) notification included a closure plan stating the families, guardians and residents will be notified this week," Arnold said.

Residents, their family members and employees are being invited to a vendor and job fair from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday at LeRoy Manor, Young said. Liberty Villages in Clinton, Danville, Peoria, Pekin and Shelbyville, as well as several skilled nursing facilities within 25 miles of LeRoy, have been invited to assist residents and families in choosing new facilities and employees in choosing new employers, Young said.

LeRoy Manor opened in 1989. Ninety percent of residents are on Medicaid, and the remaining 10 percent are on Medicare or are private-pay residents, Young said.

Medicaid reimbursement rates in Illinois have been inadequate for years, Young said. It costs $200 a day to care for a resident on Medicaid but the state reimbursement to skilled nursing facilities is $130 to $140 a day, he said.

"Over the last four years, we have put in $4 million in losses to keep the doors open," Young said. The board of directors decided they could no longer do that.

"It comes down to financial solvency and being able to provide the level of care our residents are accustomed to," he said.

"It was honestly painstaking," he said of the closing decision. "We tried to look at every feasible alternative ... But we're not in the industry to provide the minimum. We're in the industry to provide outstanding care."

Resident reaction has been bittersweet, he said. While residents are disappointed and sad, some have said that they hope to move to the same facility as the staff.

Young hopes that state legislators will increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for skilled care facilities.

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Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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Health Reporter

Health reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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