JEFFERSON CITY – For the first time in its 108-year history, Baptist Homes will be acquiring three new campuses via acquisition.
Following unanimous board approval in April, Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries is set to assume ownership of the Truman Gardens and Chateau in Independence, Missouri, as of July 1st. While the details of the transfer of ownership are still being finalized, Baptist Homes will assume management of the facility June 1st. A general timeline is to begin light renovations in the summer of 2021 with a formal dedication and name change to the Baptist Homes of Independence in the fall.
Truman Gardens is a fully functional, 120-bed skilled nursing facility and is currently home to twenty-eight residents. The Truman Chateau is a residential facility with 14-assisted living apartments and is currently home to four residents. The vision for the main care facility is to reduce the number of licensed beds by half, in essence converting the semi-private rooms to all private beds. One of the lessons learned from COVID-19 is that the availability of private rooms with a private bath greatly reduces the transmission rate of the virus among nursing home residents.
Baptist Homes President Rodney Harrison said, “Since these facilities are currently operational, refreshing of rooms in the main building will take place one hallway at a time. A detailed pre-purchase inspection revealed only minor repairs and updates are needed in the Garden and Chateau buildings. The plan is to temporarily close the Chateau building and reopen the facility as an Assisted Living cottage home that is operational and attractive.”
Another first for the Home will be participation in the Medicare/Medicaid program as the 60-bed skilled units will be Medicare/Medicaid reimbursable. Once Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries is established as a qualifying provider, Truman Gardens will be the first Baptist Homes campus able to bill Medicare/Medicaid for approved services.
Since this is new territory for the Home, the decision to pursue this certification was not entered into lightly. It was only after much prayer, research and legal counsel that the board gave authorization to pursue certification through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The research process included meeting with leaders from the South Carolina Baptist Ministry for the Aging whose campuses are CMS certified. SCBMA president Tom Turner believed participation in these programs allowed the ministry to serve those who would otherwise be forced to live elsewhere.
Mike Whitehead, Baptist Homes legal counsel, referenced two recent Supreme Court rulings supporting the right of faith-based ministries to participate in state and federal programs without compromising faith convictions. Harrison affirmed these convictions by noting, “Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries is unashamedly Christian and unapologetically Baptist. Accepting Medicare and Medicaid is akin to the decision to participate in state and federal financial aid programs that each of our Missouri Baptist universities have made. These decisions allow our entities to serve more Missouri Baptists.”
As part of this purchase, Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries also acquired the Smithville Living Center which has been closed since December 2020. The vision for this 120-bed campus is to convert it into 36 private suites with the goal of serving aging military veterans. The anticipated timeline for this ambitious project is approximately two years.
The purchase price to acquire both facilities was $800,000 ($400,000 each).
And in a completely separate transaction, trustees recently authorized the acquisition of the Adrian Manor Nursing Home and Crystal Manor Assisted Living Facility in Adrian for a price of $15,001, plus current operating expenses and costs related to closing the facility. This facility fell victim to COVID-19 and closed February 1, 2021, after being unable to recover from a low census. Current plans for the campus in Adrian include minor renovations and facility updates with the goal of opening to new residents in January 2022. The Baptist Homes of Adrian will be the second campus pursuing Medicare and Medicaid certification.
The rapid growth and expansion of Baptist Homes campuses across the state might be met with some trepidation, as changes sometimes are. However, one only has to read The Baptist Home’s history to know that this ministry is no stranger to change. In fact, fourth superintendent Ed Goodwin shared that as he was studying for his administrator’s license in 1975, he realized how inevitable change was in the long-term care industry. He reflected, “Perhaps no single industry has changed and is changing more rapidly than the long-term care industry, and this has affected and will continue to affect our operation of The Baptist Home. We must meet the demands to keep abreast in the field. This requires continued training of staff, replacement of equipment, updating of facilities, especially the medical floor, and the continued recruitment of qualified personnel…It is our conviction that our future is as bright as the opportunities which are all around us and the success of our future depends upon how we avail ourselves of these opportunities. To this we commit ourselves and call upon Missouri Baptists over our state to join us in this commitment” (The Baptist Home, August 1975).