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TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Brock McCleary, President


Date: November 13, 2018
RE: Key Poll Findings—Berks County Survey on Berks Heim Nursing & Rehabilitation

Harper Polling conducted a survey of 403 likely voters in Berks County, Pennsylvania regarding the Berks
Heim Nursing & Rehabilitation center. Our survey found that voters in Berks County view Berks Heim
nursing home as a valuable part of the community and oppose the proposed sale.

1. Berks County voters oppose selling Berks Heim nursing home.

 59% of likely voters oppose selling Berks Heim nursing home to private ownership, while just 21%
favor this proposal.
 This opposition holds across all key demographics, including voters with a relative or friend who
has received care at the Berks Heim center.

Q: Increasing healthcare costs, cuts to Medicaid funding, and an aging population are all having a negative effect on the financial
well-being of Berks Heim nursing home. The Berks County Commissioners are considering selling the Berks Heim nursing home to
private ownership. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?

% Oppose
80 73 70
68 66 65
70 59 62 62
60 50 48 52
50
46
40
30
20
10
0

2. Berks Heim Nursing and Rehabilitation center is valuable to the community.


Q: As you may know, Berks County owns a public nursing and rehabilitation
 A substantial majority of Berks County center called Berks Heim. This nursing home mostly serves lower income and
voters rate the value of Berks Heim as Medicaid recipients in Berks County. Based on what you know, how would you
excellent or good (59%). rate the value of the Berks Heim nursing home to our local community?

 Seniors and those with a friend or


relative at Berks Heim are even more
likely to view the center as valuable to
the community (65+: 71%
28% 31%
excellent/good; Relative: 76%). Excellent
Good
3% Fair
Poor
10% Unsure/Refused
28%

121 State Street HarperPolling.com info@HarperPolling.com


Harrisburg, PA 17101
3. There is a clear consensus that the County Commissioners should explore other options before taking
the drastic measure of selling Berks Heim to private ownership.

 Other palatable alternatives for voters include the County Commissioners working with state
government to negotiate increased funding for county nursing homes and increased Medicaid
reimbursement rates, and considering a modest increase in County taxes if the nursing home
starts to lose money in the next few years.
 Voters were not open to “cutting the wages and benefits of County employees who work at Berks
Heim nursing home” as an alternative approach. 72% rated this 1-3 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1
meaning County Commissioners should not explore this option. 59% rated this option as a 1.
 Voters across demographics overwhelmingly agree that the County Commissioners should
consider some of these alternatives before selling Berks Heim.

Q: Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following statement: Before taking the drastic
measure of selling the Berks Heim nursing home to private ownership, County Commissioners should
explore other measures like the ones just mentioned.

% Agree

83 90 81 89 82 84 90 83 81
100 76 73 79
80
60
40
20
0

4. Voters are less likely to support the sale of Berks Heim after hearing several messages about
privatizing the nursing home.

Q. Now I am going to read you a series of statements about the privatization of nursing
homes. Please tell me whether each statement makes you more likely or less likely to favor
the sale of Berks Heim nursing and rehabilitation to private ownership.
% Less Likely

Privatized nursing homes pay their employees lower


wages and have higher staff turnover, which results in 69
reduced continuity of care for patients.

Because of their dependence on fixed Medicare and


Medicaid rates, it is difficult for nursing homes to make
a profit. Private nursing homes must cut costs to 69
become profitable, which can result in shortages of…

Decades of research have established that the


privatization of nursing homes results in decreased 67
quality of care for patients.

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80

METHODOLOGY: The sample size for the survey is 403 likely voters in Berks County, Pennsylvania and the margin of error is +/-4.88%.
Responses were gathered via landline and mobile telephone interviews conducted by live callers at a professional call center. The
survey was conducted November 12 – 13, 2018 by Harper Polling. The total percentages of responses may not equal 100% due to
rounding.