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Nursing homes get mixed ratings

TRI-COUNTY AREA—When a family member needs to be in a nursing home, it can be hard to find the right one.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, a government agency, released Thursday (Dec. 18) on their Web site http://www.medicare.gov their ratings of nursing care facilities across the nation.  The facilities reviewed include Penn Yan Manor Nursing Home, Soldiers & Sailors  Hospital, Ira  Davenport Memorial  Hospital, and Schuyler  Hospital and Long Term Care Unit.  The Web site rates more nursing home facilities in the surounding counties, like Bethany Nursing Home in Horseheads.

The site only compares and rates nursing homes certified to participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid, as well those that provide skilled care.  The ratings have been gathered as a way to help people choose a nursing home.

Most of the ratings are done by the number of stars out of five.  One star is much below average, two is below average, three is average, four is above average and five stars is much above average.

Once on the Web site, a link to the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating is listed under the Medicare spotlights.  The next page directs the viewer to search for nursing homes and their ratings.  Searches can be done by name, state, zip code, city or county.

The ratings are broken down by staffing, health inspections, and with quality measures (how well the patients are cared for).    The site also lists their fire inspections results which has no rating.  All factors combined, the nursing homes in Yates  County scored the best in their overall ratings.  Penn Yan Manor and Soldiers & Sailors both scored five out of five stars.  Ira Davenport scored four stars and Schuyler  Hospital scored three stars (see the graph on this page to compare all areas rated).

In staff ratings, Schuyler Hospital scored the lowest with a three.  Ira Davenport scored four, and Penn Yan Manor and Soldiers & Sailors scored five again.  However, the registered nurses by themselves at Soldiers & Sailors scored the lowest with one star.  The rest of the facilities all scored three stars with their RN staff.

The site also lists, at the time the data was submitted, how many patients were in that facilities’ care.  Ira Davenport has 106 patients, Penn Yan Manor has 45, Schuyler Hospital has 112 and Soldiers & Sailors has 144.

The facilities with the highest rating for health inspections were Penn Yan Manor and Ira Davenport with four stars.  Schuyler  Hospital scored three and Soldiers & Sailors scored two.  The health inspections were based on the care residents were given, how care was given, how staff and residents interact and the nursing home environment.

One thing the inspections for Soldiers & Sailors and Ira Davenport said needed improvement was staff members washing their hands.  The report said it was of low level harm to residents though.  Ira Davenport, Penn Yan Manor and Schuyler Hospital had a few other care areas affecting only a few residents that needed improvement.  All deficiencies were marked as corrected after the inspection.

The last area with ratings, quality measures, also gives percents for different scenarios.  They include percents for patients who have pressure sores, need for help in daily activities increased, were given vaccinations during flu season and who loose too much weight.  The comparisons explain if a higher or lower percentage is better in each of the categories.

All four facilities had a low percentage of number of residents with moderate to severe pain.  Ira Davenport had zero percent, Penn Yan Manor and Schuyler Hospital had three percent and Soldiers & Sailors had four percent.  The national average is four percent and the state average is two percent.

Penn Yan Manor and Soldiers & Sailors had the highest percent of long-stay patients who need to be restrained at 10 percent.  Four percent of Ira Davenport’s residents had to be physically restrained and only two percent for Schuyler Hospital’s residents.  The national average is four percent and the state average is three percent.

Nine percent of residents at Schuyler  Hospital spend most of their time in bed or in a chair.  Ira Davenport had five percent, Penn Yan Manor had three percent and Soldiers & Sailors had only one percent.  The national average is nine percent and the state average is eight percent.

All but one nursing home was below the national average (14 percent) of long-stay residents who are more depressed or anxious.  Soldiers & Sailors had 15 percent, Schuyler  Hospital had 11 percent, Ira Davenport had 10 percent, and Penn Yan Manor had five percent.  The state average is 10 percent.

Schuyler Hospital has the lowest percent of residents that lost too much weight with one percent.  Soldiers & Sailors has the highest with eight percent, Penn Yan Manor has three percent and Ira Davenport has five percent.  The national average is nine percent and the state average is eight percent.

The facilities were also at the same level for state and country with the number of residents with delirium.  The state average is one percent and the national average is two percent.  Both Schuyler Hospital and Ira Davenport have none, and Soldiers & Sailors has one percent.  The report said that the number for Penn Yan Manor was too small too small to report, but suggested calling the facility if a person wanted.

All four facilities were above the state and national average of long-stay residents who were asses and given the pneumonoccal vaccination.  Schuyler Hospital and Soldiers & Sailors gave it to 99 percent of residents, and Penn Yan Manor and Ira Davenport gave it to 98 percent.  The national average is 84 percent and the state average is 94 percent.

All four are also below the national average (14 percent) of high-risk, long-stay residents who have pressure sores.  Schuyler Hospital has the lowest with three percent.  Ira Davenport has 13 percent of residents and Soldiers & Sailors has 12 percent.  A number was once again not available for Penn Yan Manor.  The state average for such residents is 12 percent.

The Web site also covers the facilities’ fire safety results, but does not give a rating for it.  Ira Davenport and Soldiers & Sailors both had one problem that needed to be fixed.  The other two had no deficiencies.  Soldiers & Sailors did not have automatic sprinkler systems that were maintained in working order.  At Ira Davenport, the problem was that the fire alarm could not be heard throughout the entire facility.  These problems were also fixed.  The average number of problems per facility in New  York is two and in the nation is three.

In order to best pick a nursing care facility, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid suggests people actually visit the facilities after looking over the comparisons.  

 


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