MAYVILLE There are savings to be recognized at the Chautauqua County Home.
Those reductions and revenue enhancements could save the Dunkirk skilled nursing facility at least $506,000 annually, said Tim Hellwig, home administrator.
The real dollar amount is the first to come directly from officials at the facility.
But the cutbacks are still less than what was projected in a recent financial viability report.
Hellwig reviewed the County Home budget Friday with the legislature's Audit and Control committee as part of ongoing budget discussions in Mayville.
He said savings largely are possible through the implementation of an electronic medical record system and an improved payer mix system.
Implementation of a fully functioning EMR program, which Hellwig said could take months to complete, could save as much as $200,000 annually. Increasing more private pay and Medicare residents, he added, could save as much as $100,000 a year with another $175,000 coming from a better use of current therapy staff.
And if limits are placed on wages on benefits to County Home workers, more enhancements could be realized.
"I think those (savings in contract negotiations) are reasonable and realistic, but those are not within my control," said Hellwig, who presented portions of the County Home's budget for the second time this week.
Legislator John Runkle, R-Stockton, had asked Hellwig earlier this week to submit a revised budget to take into account savings recommendations made in a report by the Center for Governmental Research. The financial viability report estimated savings around $2.3 million, and included limits on salaries and benefits to CSEA Unit 6300 workers.
Runkle said Friday he was glad to see some hard data on the potential savings, which have been debated by many, including County Executive Greg Edwards.
"It's really good to have those numbers," the Stockton Republican said. "At least we have some kind of agreement with Mr. Hellwig and CGR."
He added: "We were told these savings could be done, so now we expect them to implement the savings."