Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Center for Governmental Research

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

October 2014

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

April 2012 – October 2013

County-owned and -operated nursing homes often serve as a safety net for the indigent elderly, individuals with disabilities, and other hard-to-place residents needing institutional care.

In December 2011, only 34 out of 62 counties in New York State were operating public nursing homes, and several of those counties were either contemplating or in the process of selling or closing their nursing homes—a complex decision that raises issues of access and finance.

In 2012, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded a grant to the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) to conduct a study of county-operated nursing homes throughout New York State. Of the seven counties that either sold or closed their nursing homes in recent years, CGR would examine the implications of the closure or sale for county budgets, county residents, and nursing home residents and employees. CGR expected to present its findings to help inform other counties grappling with similar decisions.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Produced a comprehensive final report, “The Future of County Nursing Homes in New York State,” in August 2013, along with a Web page highlighting key findings, implications, and recommendations for State leaders, as well as guidelines for counties; and
  • Made recommendations that have been used across the State to help counties exercise due diligence as part of their decision-making process concerning the future of their nursing homes.

Among the report’s key findings was that more counties than expected were considering the sale of their county nursing home; few, if any, were considering closure on account of the need to retain the nursing home in the county. For the most part, sales of county nursing homes to the private sector did not result in the inability to continue to serve low-income or hard-to-place persons under new leadership.