Six Kentucky nursing homes are on a formerly unpublished list of 400 poor performers around the nation

Of the six Kentucky facilities on the poor-performers list, only Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Owensboro is getting additional oversight. (Photo from the Owensboro Times)

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

The U.S. senators from Pennsylvania have released a report that includes the names of nearly 400 nursing homes with a “persistent record of poor care” that had not previously been publicly available.

Six are in Kentucky: Klondike Center and Springhurst Health and Rehab in Louisville; River Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Paducah; Woodcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Elsmere; Mountain Manor of Paintsville; and Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Owensboro.

Some issues listed in the report specific to the Kentucky nursing homes were failure to provide prescribed medication and treatments, failure to inform providers when the treatments were missed, and failure to provide appropriate burn-wound care, which resulted in a state inspector finding the individual “lying in bed with a large amount of green drainage on dressing and a pool of green drainage on the bed sheets.”

Pennsylvania’s senators, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey, released the list after questioning why the federal government only shares a list of about 80 failing nursing homes that get special oversight until their issues are resolved, and not the list of nearly 400, which also qualify for the oversight program, but aren’t included because of “limited resources.”

The 80 nursing homes that get the additional oversight are “special focus facilities” and are identified on the federal Nursing Home Compare website with a small yellow triangle. Those on the list of 400 are candidates for this special program, but are not identified in any way on the website as nursing homes that provide persistently poor care.

The senators’ report says, “Despite being indistinguishable from participants in terms of their qualifications for enhanced oversight, candidates are not publicly disclosed. As a result, individuals and families making decisions about nursing home care for themselves or for a loved one are unlikely to be aware of these candidates.”

Owensboro’s Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is the Kentucky’s only “special focus facility” on the list. The report says that the only parties who have known if a nursing home is a candidate to be a special-focus facility are the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the government of the state in which the nursing home is based, and the facility itself.

The report says CMS has not consistently updated these nursing homes’ data on Nursing Home Compare; it says nine are listed as having perfect scores for staffing and quality of care.

Further, it says that the nursing homes that are considered special-focus candidates do not face additional oversight, are not surveyed more frequently, nor are they “subject to more rigorous enforcement actions, additional disclosure or reporting requirements.”

“There is no information on Nursing Home Compare explaining the reason for a facility’s participation in the program, the length of time it has been in the program or whether it has improved,” the report said.

About 1.3 million Americans live in 15,600 nursing homes, according to CMS.

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