A corporation that planned to build a 125-bed nursing home in Taneytown instead wants to build two nursing homes -- one in Taneytown and one in Mount Airy -- each half the size of the original.
Ellicott City-based Lorien Home Health Care Inc. has received approval to shift half the beds authorized for the Taneytown nursing home to a planned nursing home in Mount Airy.
However, Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy challenged the decision in a request for reconsideration filed Wednesday with the Maryland Health Planning Resources Commission.
The commission authorized the shift three weeks ago. The next commission meeting is scheduled for September, although it was unclear yesterday whether the challenge will be on the agenda.
Lorien's parent company, Maryland Health Enterprises, plans to build a 63-bed nursing home and 199 assisted-living apartments on a 10-acre site in Taneytown. The first phase would include 84 apartments, with additional construction to depend on demand.
In Mount Airy, the corporation plans a 62-bed nursing home and 84 assisted-living apartments under a contract with Michael Berman, developer of Wildwood Park senior housing village.
"They will be mirror images of each other except for one bed. Taneytown got the extra bed," said Louis Grimmel, chief executive officer of Maryland Health Enterprises.
The trend in Maryland is toward residential services and assisted-living units, some in combination with traditional nursing homes, said James R. Stanton, executive director of the Health Planning Resources Commission.
"We are not showing any need for additional traditional beds in the state, but we have had approaches from nursing home operators who are interested in adding [assisted-living units] to existing facilities," Stanton said.
Maryland Health Enterprises executives debated whether it made sense to build free-standing nursing homes without assisted-living apartments that allow people to maintain independence, said James Forsyth, attorney for the corporation. Many people end up in a nursing home because there is no other solution. This is that solution," he said.
Stanton said the Health Planning Resources Commission found Lorien's idea of splitting the nursing bed authorization and adding assisted living at two locations "very attractive." He said the commission's projections show a need for about 120 nursing home beds in Carroll County.
Forsyth said the plan allows the nursing home operator to redistribute its resources to make nursing home care available across the county.
Taneytown officials endorsed Lorien's proposal for a smaller nursing home after Mount Airy Mayor Gerald R. Johnson approached them several months ago.
"I don't think it's going to hurt us," said Taneytown Mayor W. Robert Flickinger. "I think 63 [beds] will be enough to start with, and we can always go up to 125."
Grimmel said site plans are in the hands of architects, working "full steam ahead" to get them ready for submission. The nursing home operator is working on the two projects simultaneously.
Pub Date: 7/25/97