Kentucky Sees Drop In Nursing Home Citations For Serious Problems

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Patient advocates across Kentucky are
worried that a drop in nursing home citations under Governor
Fletcher's administration could signal a relaxation in enforcement.
Advocates say Kentucky nursing homes have not grown noticeably
safer under Fletcher's administration to warrant a coinciding drop
in citations from the state.
State government conducted annual inspections and cited about
one in four of approximately 300 nursing homes with serious
deficiencies during the last four years of former Governor Paul
Patton's administration.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that under Fletcher, that
rate has fallen to about one in ten nursing homes.
Lexington ombudsman Kathy Gannoe says the drop is "stunning"
and could indicate the state is giving nursing home facilities
extra chances to correct problems before issuing serious citations.
Cabinet officials, however, say they are not ignoring problems
that could hurt patients.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services' inspector general,
Steven Davis, says there could be various reasons for the drop,
including too few inspectors, and a focus both on complaints and
fewer homes.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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