Senior center in Eagle now taking Medicare and Medicaid |

Senior center in Eagle now taking Medicare and Medicaid

Castle Peak Senior Life and Rehabilitation announced Tuesday that it has received Medicare and Medicaid certification, which means its skilled nursing services will be open to lower income residents.
Pam Boyd/ |

EAGLE — A number of years ago, representatives from Augustana Care and Eagle County conducted a series of public meetings with residents age 65 and older to talk about what they needed for long-term care.

Many of those folks said they needed affordable nursing care options as they aged. This wasn’t news. The county had been talking about this need for decades.

This week, however, the need is beginning to be addressed.

Castle Peak Senior Life & Rehabilitation in Eagle announced Tuesday it has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to accept Medicaid and Medicare for its skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation and memory care services.

“This is a big deal. This is what a lot of our patients will be,” said Castle Peak Senior Life & Rehabilitation Marketing Director Monica McCarroll.

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“It certainly opens up the project to people who would otherwise be unable to afford it,” said Jill Klosterman, Eagle County housing director.

Castle Peak Senior Life & Rehabilitation opened its doors in October.

The facility sits at the T-intersection of Capitol Street and Sylvan Lake Road in Eagle and is owned and managed by Augustana Care, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization who owns and manages 23 senior care projects around the country. The facility’s five-acre site is located immediately north of Brush Creek Elementary School and the 62,000-square-foot building includes 22 skilled nursing beds, 20 assisted living apartments, 12 memory care beds and 10 transitional care units.

Big threshold

Providing services to Medicaid-eligible seniors was a requirement of the $5 million loan and land donation made to the facility by the Eagle County Housing and Development Authority. According to project agreements, Castle Peak must make reasonable efforts that at least 20 percent of the residents in skilled nursing are eligible for Medicaid.

“We know the process for obtaining approval for Medicare and Medicaid acceptance from the federal government is lengthy. We applaud Castle Peak for their efforts and are thrilled to have this facility now serving our seniors of all incomes,” said Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry.

Medicare is a federal program with no qualification requirements and is open to citizens age 65 and older. It allows patients to recuperate in a skilled nursing facility for up to 100 days following release from a hospital. McCarroll said Castle Peak received its Medicare certification in January.

Medicaid is federal program administered through the state which does have income qualifications and applies to patients who do not have other financial resources to pay for long-term skilled nursing. The certification was announced this month.

According to McCarroll, Castle Peak had to have at least three residents in its skilled nursing wing before the state could do an inspection to determine if it was Medicaid compliant.

She noted there are now 13 patients in the skilled nursing wing. The memory care wing is not yet open.

Assisted living stats

McCarroll also noted there are currently 12 residents in the Castle Peak assisted living wing. These individuals are unaffected by the Medicare and Medicaid certifications because assisted living apartments accept only private payment, long-term care insurance and life insurance policy conversion.

As more residents and patients find their way to the facility, McCarroll said residency at Castle Peak is in line with projections. The creation of a senior care facility in Eagle County has been a welcome change, Klosterman noted. “It is so great to see it here and see it become part of the community.”

She speaks from personal experience. Klosterman’s daughter is a student at Brush Creek Elementary School, Castle Peak Senior Life & Rehabilitation’s neighbor. Klosterman said her daughter often comes home with stories of meeting Castle Peak residents who volunteer at the school or who have dropped by for a visit.

“It’s a great multi-generational neighborhood up there. It is wonderful to see it,” Klosterman said.

For more information on skilled nursing services at Castle Peak, contact Hannah Haupt at 970-432-1125. For information on assisted living, contact Monica McCarroll at 970-432-1150.

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