Recent Headlines Report Disturbing Information About Ohio Facilities
With our elder population expected to grow by 45% over the next 20 years, the latest negative information about Ohio nursing homes is highly disturbing! Factoring in the increased costs and competition for facilities, our seniors are at risk for injury and death if the numbers don’t improve dramatically.
One case in Rocky River, Ohio cites a 12 hour poisoning that ultimately led to the patient’s death. Other documented cases from nursing homes across Ohio cite deaths due to negligence or injury. Inspection reports coupled with federal statistics have led to Ohio nursing homes earning one of the lowest quality ratings across the country.
A series of articles by Cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer have provided a wealth of information – For better or worse!
From the “51 best 5-star rated facilities in Northeast Ohio” to the federal ratings data and more – Their series ‘ A Critical Choice’ sheds light on a topic we simply cannot ignore.
Nursing Home 101
‘Nursing homes’ is a blanket term, covering facilities that are categorized for a variety of services
- Rehabilitation Care (Post operative and physical therapy)
- Skilled Nursing
- Assisted Living
- Memory Care
From short term care following a hospital visit from an illness or surgery, to physical therapy or long term care for assisted living or dementia or Alzheimer’s care… we call upon our nursing homes in times of crisis and necessity, often jumping through hoops, with an expensive price tag. The unexpected ratings for many Ohio facilities combined with the growing elder population are exceedingly cause for concern.
Quality of Care and Ratings
The national rating system known as Nursing Home Compare uses a 5-star rating system to report findings on over 15,000 nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid, and are licensed by the state.
The 5-star system covers general staff, nursing staff, overall satisfaction and quality of safety and health initiatives across the facility.
Facility representatives argue that the rating system essentially punishes difficult cases, not taking into account the level of care, how many severe cases, fall risks and other high risk factors. Small facilities that provide an ‘above and beyond’ level of care are also not weighted in their score measurements.
- 41% of Ohio Facilities had a below-average rating as of 12/1/16
- In the last 3 years, at least 31 deaths were a result of care issues
- Minimum staffing remains concerning in Ohio
- Ohio requires 50% less training minimums vs. the minimums in California
- 30% of Ohio’s near 1,000 nursing homes and assisted living facilities were fined a combined $6.3 million dollars over the last 3 years
- 4 out of 5 facilities in Ohio are For-Profit (for-profit facilities have a history of being 3 times more likely to be ranked low)
As of December, 2016 Ohio had over 180 ONE STAR facilities, followed by 198 TWO STAR facilities.. that means nearly 41% of all facilities in Ohio had 1 or 2 star ratings. This is deplorable!
Choosing a Nursing Home
Families can choose a nursing home for their loved one carefully, by combining several factors and observations..
- Unscheduled visits
- Meetings with staff and administrators
- Ratings and scores
- General online searches and reviews
- Personal observations – sights, sounds, smells
- Access to information – Notifications of falls, incidents, etc.
ZERO of the 31 cited deaths occurred in 5-star rated homes in Ohio. The majority of the deaths occurred in one or two star rated facilities. Unfortunately, with a growing number of seniors turning to nursing homes over the coming years, we will only see these death counts grow. It is important that the facilities and responsible parties be held accountable.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call my offices immediately. As your Ohio malpractice attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.