Florida's Nursing Home Industry On Notice

By: Lanetra Bennett
November 6, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Thirty-six percent of the nursing homes run by Florida's fastest growing industry leader are on a watch list for not meeting state standards. That's according to a new study from Consulate Health Care.

Legislators and advocates want to hold the state's nursing home industry more accountable.

Jasmin Loriezo says her 84-year-old aunt does not like being in a nursing home in Orlando. She says, "She doesn't like the food sometimes or she cannot get around because nobody's there to help her because sometimes they are short-handed."

Advocates say some complaints by nursing home residents can be more severe. They say out of the 682 licensed nursing homes in Florida, 139 are on the Agency for Health Care Administration's (AHCA) watch list.

The watch list designation is for facilities with a record of resident neglect, health and safety violations, inappropriate staffing and supervision, and financial mismanagement.

Legislators, seniors, caregivers, and advocates gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to support a bill they say would increase accountability and transparency for nursing homes placed on the watch list.

Earl Nurse is a retiree who traveled to the Capitol from Apopka, Florida. He says, "That's what it's all about, providing better health care for not only for myself, but, for everyone who is in need of it."

Under the legislation, facilities on the watch list would have post signs on every entrance saying they're on the list, they'd have to provide written notice to families and explain why they're on the list, and AHCA could leverage penalties and sanctions for violating those public notice requirements.

We would like to point our that Florida's nursing home industry received an overall grade of "B". More than 60 percent of the state's skilled nursing facilities have an overall four or five star rating.

For more information on Florida nursing homes, please see the press release below.

Press Release: Florida Health Care Association

Key Facts About Florida’s High Quality Nursing Home Care:

Florida’s nearly 700 skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes) care for more than 70,000 frail elders and people with disabilities with a diverse set of needs. Facilities treat short-stay rehabilitation patients, who are being discharged to their homes or an assisted living facility after successful rehabilitation at a higher rate than ever before (30 percent increase). Facilities also care for longer-stay residents with complex, 24-hour medical needs; two-thirds have Alzheimer’s or related dementias. Over 260,000 Floridians are employed by Florida’s long term care facilities – dedicated caregivers and staff, all with a passion for delivering the highest quality, patient-centered care which results in positive outcomes for their residents/patients.

Key Facts

· Measures of Quality: The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Nursing Home Compare uses a Five-Star rating system to evaluate skilled nursing facilities nationwide. The overall ratings are a composite of health inspections, staffing and quality measures.

· High Star Ratings: Over 60 percent of Florida’s skilled nursing facilities have an OVERALL FOUR or FIVE Star Rating

· Staffing: Florida has one of the highest staffing ratios (certified nursing assistant to resident/patient ratio) in the country. Over 60 percent of Florida’s facilities boast a FOUR or FIVE star rating in STAFFING - the nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, therapists and others delivering quality care to residents.

· Nursing Care: On average, individuals are receiving more time with nurses on a daily basis, while nursing staff turnover continues to decrease.

· Decrease in Citations: The number of facilities receiving a one or two star rating has correspondingly decreased, and federal citations continue to decline.

· Satisfaction Levels: Customer satisfaction remains high among residents and their families (85 percent).

· Funding: Over 60 percent of residents in Florida’s skilled nursing facilities rely on Medicaid to cover their long term health care needs; yet, Medicaid underfunds care by nearly $21.00 per patient per day ($500,000 per facility, annually).

The Profession is Committed to Continuous Quality Improvement

· The long term care profession works to create an environment which is resident-centered and outcome-oriented, facilitates positive relationships and provides personally rewarding activities for residents and patients.

· Florida’s skilled nursing facilities are involved in a number of collaborative efforts, in partnership with government and other stakeholders, to continue improving quality care.

o In 2013, Florida’s skilled nursing facilities achieved the highest number of National Quality Awards than any other state (award criteria is based on the Malcolm Baldrige criteria for performance excellence).

o Facilities are enrolled in the National Quality Initiative, a member-wide challenge to meet specific, measurable targets in hospital readmissions, staff stability, customer satisfaction and the off-label use of antipsychotics.

o Over 75 percent of FHCA member nursing facilities are enrolled in the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign.

FLORIDA HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATION (FHCA www.fhca.org) is a federation which serves nearly 1,000 members and represents over 500 long term care facilities that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and sub-acute care, short-term rehab, assisted living and other services to the frail elderly and individuals with disabilities in Florida. For more information about the Florida Health Care Association, visit www.fhca.org.

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