Onondaga County health committee says privatizing Van Duyn could save millions

Privatizing service at Van Duyn Home and Hospital, a senior nursing home in Syracuse, could save Onondaga County $115 million in 10 years, according to the legislature's health committee.

The committee says that because of Medicaid reimbursement rates, which date back to the 1980's, it is not sustainable for the county to fund the facility on West Seneca Turnpike.

"This is the first serious conversation. Obviously, we have a tremendous amount of concern for our seniors. Things are being rolled out, there's a lot more to learn in this process. We're just looking at the options right now," says Danny Liedka, Onondaga County Legislature.

The county signed a letter of intent to sell the nursing home to a private home operator earlier this month. Now, the health committee says the plan is in a preliminary stage and the health of Van Duyn Home remains a top priority.

"The numbers speak for themselves, $115 million is just a huge number that this county continues to absorb," says Liedka.

The Ways and Means Committee is looking at the entire budget proposal on Tuesday. Then on Friday, there will be a presentation of recommendations to the full legislature.