Audit will look for hope at Hope Creek

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Rock Island County Board members are hoping an audit will find some hope for Hope Creek.

The board approved the $29,000 audit Tuesday night.

County Administrator Jim Snider said the nursing home is projected to have about a $3 million deficit this year, so the goal of the audit is to see how and if Hope Creek generate revenue.

But not all the board members are happy with the company being hired for the audit: Management Performance Associates.  

MPA used to manage Hope Creek, but in 2011 the board terminated the contract. 

“We didn’t just break ties. We fired them,” said board member Lauren Loftin. 

Loftin is a new face on the board this year, but this isn’t her first time dealing with MPA. She was a board member in 2009 when the county first hired them. 

“Just to re-hire someone that did not service us well before was unacceptable for me,” Loftin said.

Hope Creek’s financial problems aren’t new. Loftin said they hired MPA back then to increase the nursing home’s revenue. 

“When that didn’t happen we did not have the funds to continue to add money to a problem,” Loftin said.

Loftin was one of 10 board members who voted against hiring MPA.

County Administrator Jim Snider said this time will be different. MPA isn’t managing, but seeing where the Hope Creek could make money.

“I’ve definitely done my due diligence,” Snider said. “I’ve reached out to members of the staff and community and on the board saying, ‘Tell me about your experience.'” 

He said back then the board wasn’t giving MPA control.

“They weren’t allowed to really bring forth the changes and improvements that they needed to,” Snider said.

MPA previously worked with Stephenson County’s nursing home when Snider was their county administrator. 

He says MPA turned their county home around and that’s what needs to happen at Hope Creek.

However, Loftin said that’s $29,000 she’d rather see spent somewhere else.

“We can do a better job with our money,” she said.

Snider said now they’ll send MPA  data over the next few weeks, and the company will be in town at the end of February for the audit. Results will be ready 90 days after that.

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