The sale is an effort to save tax payer money,
The plan has been in the works for the "past several years," Bright added, and the
"We've been losing money to fund the operation because it seems like the private sector can very well handle those cases," he said. "People can come in and speak on it and we will go from there. We have several companies interested in taking over."
According to Onslow Health Department Community Relations Officer
The county spent
Reyes said the reason for the two different budgets is while both
"It's grouped under one asset with the sale, but they are two different revenue costs," she said. "
"It (the sale) is related to the fact that this service is something we can no longer do in a way that is going to make money or break even, but COVID-19 pushes us on this, maybe," she said. "It's a service, both home health and hospice, that is best handled with a private business."
Reyes said the health department doesn't have an exact number of companies interested in purchasing the department, but added there are "multiple inquiries about the sale" and the department has directed them to broker
While there has been consideration in the past about the sale, Reyes added that anticipated losses from the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult to keep home health and hospice in the county name.
"The county carefully evaluates the needed services and the efficiencies each year as part of the annual budget process," Reyes said. "The county considers things such as: is this a mandated service, does or can anyone else provide this service in a more efficient manner, what is the cost to the local taxpayers?"
There isn't an exact timetable for when the county wants to sell.
"Because this is a county asset, there is a procedural process to this sale and we will be following this process," Reyes said. "We will refer to the broker for any more information on this."
Bright said the county is working with staff and patients of the hospice in hopes the transition from county is a smooth one.
"Across the state, there are only six counties who still have the home health and hospice. We are one of the six," Bright said. "Most have turned them over to private enterprises."
Russell said there were 75 county-run health and hospice "20 or 30 year ago" but most counties have gone to more privately owned entities.
"We have serious economic issues ahead of us," she said. "We instituted a hiring freeze and many items are up for consideration we will push back on. We are not going to make purchases or hires for a long time."
Russell added the county met with the
"There is significant concern about the staff," Russell said. "I can tell you that they are very hard working, professional folks who have worked diligently to take care of the patients.
"The staff will be attractive to the new agency and we are also considering them for internal positions that are still available."
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