Iowa Co. nursing facility to close amid staffing, financial challenges

Nursing Home

DODGEVILLE, Wis. — A skilled nursing facility in Iowa County will close its doors due in part to staffing shortages and years of financial losses, the county said Wednesday.

The county’s board voted 15-5 on Tuesday to close the Bloomfield Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center west of Dodgeville. In a news release, the county said costs to run the facility have “greatly exceeded” revenues.

Part of the financial burden came as a result of staffing shortages. The county said it spent nearly $850,000 in 2021 alone to hire contracted staff for the facility since it couldn’t fill job openings.

The facility could also need costly repairs and maintenance, the county added.

“I don’t think anyone wants to do this, but we are in a critical situation right now where it is in the best interest of the County to pursue this option,” county board chair John Meyers said in the release. “Our focus moving forward will be to responsibly close the facility and compassionately work with the residents, employees, and staff to ensure their needs are met. The State has strict guidelines and timelines for conducting this type of procedure, and we will make sure that all of the residents and all of the affected employees will be taken care of in the process.”

The county hopes to move current residents to nearby facilities and plans to keep Bloomfield’s doors open until all residents have found new facilities.

A shortage of workers at skilled nursing facilities across Wisconsin has led the state to train hundreds of Wisconsin National Guard troops to serve as certified nursing assistants.