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County hears from potential buyer of home healthcare service license

— The Clinton County Legislature has heard from a Rochester-based company interested in purchasing the county’s home healthcare service license and taking over its services.

The legislature’s finance committee met with representatives from HCR Home Care, Aug. 16, to learn more about the company, which submitted a bid to purchase the county’s license.

Mark A. Maxim, HCR’s president and administrator, and Elizabeth Zicari, the company’s vice president of clinical services, gave a formal presentation to the legislators Tuesday afternoon, discussing how HCR uses “research-based quality improvement” and continuing education to “provide the highest standard of care possible.”

“Patient care is a very sensitive and very personal issue,” said Zicari. “Our patients in any community are our family members, our friends, our neighbors — people that we care about. They’re not a number.”

Each of the legislators in attendance posed questions to Maxim and Zicari, citing concerns by those currently employed through the county’s home health-care program as to whether or not they would have a job if HCR were to purchase the county’s license.

“Our goal would be to certainly hire any of the nurses that want to stay and work for the Clinton County patients through HCR,” said Zicari. “We would be very interested in talking with them and in maintaining their relationships with the patients they’ve cared for and not to interrupt that for the patients.”

Legislator Robert W. Butler, R-Area 6, further questioned if staff other than nurses, would be needed if a deal with HCR went through. Maxim responded that in every county HCR currently handles home healthcare, the organization has hired every clinical person who has wanted to continue employment under the HCR administration.

“We expect that to be the case here,” he said.

However, the need for clerical staff would not be as great, Maxim said, noting centralizing administrative and clerical work from its main offices in Rochester is one way the company can reduce expenses and be more profitable where the county has suffered financially to the tune of approximately $2 million a year in recent years. Maxim stated there would be a potential need for “three to four” clerical staff members. According to County Administrator Michael E. Zurlo, the county currently employees approximately 13 clerical staff members for the home healthcare program.

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