Three KY Nursing Homes On Federal "Chronically Troubled" " List

LEXINGTON, KY -- Three Kentucky nursing homes, including one in Lexington, are on a list of 128 chronically troubled facilities ordered by the federal government to get closer scrutiny, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Saturday edition.

But between Washington and Frankfort, where state inspectors are assigned to visit nursing homes, nobody in government thought to release the list to the public. Instead, an incomplete list of 52 poor-performing nursing homes was issued in a Nov. 29 press release by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. None of the Kentucky facilities was on that abridged version.

State records obtained by the Herald-Leader identify the Kentucky nursing homes as Cambridge Place in Lexington, Highlands Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Louisville and Baptist Convalescent Center in Newport.

Critics, including nine U.S. senators, are demanding the release of the full list, which federal officials did share with nursing home industry lobbyists. One of Kentucky's leading advocates for nursing home safety on Friday said there is no excuse for government secrecy once problems have been identified that put elderly patients at risk, the newspaper reports.

"We may have a loved one in these nursing homes, or we may be considering one of these nursing homes for a loved one, and we have a right to know if our government is aware of serious and chronic problems," said Bernie Vonderheide, president of the watchdog group Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform.

Federal and state officials said they didn't intend to conceal anything, but they acknowledged that public disclosure of the "Special Focus Facility list" -- the first of its kind -- could have been handled better.

CMS spokeswoman Mary Kahn said her agency disclosed only the names of nursing homes that have been troubled for several years and show no evidence of reform. CMS left it to state inspectors to release the full list if they chose. In Kentucky, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services received no requests for the full list, so it didn't release it, said spokeswoman Gwenda Bond.

All of the listed nursing homes consistently provide poor patient care and must be inspected twice a year instead of once, according to federal officials. The facilities are known to "yo-yo" in and out of compliance. They briefly fix their problems after failing one inspection, only to relapse into the same problems months later, reports the Herald-Leader.

Of the three Kentucky nursing homes:

• Cambridge Place, a 118-bed facility, was cited in the past year for 16 health deficiencies -- nearly three times the state average -- including failure to hire only people with no criminal history of abuse, mistreatment or neglect, or failure to report acts of abuse, mistreatment or neglect; failure to provide residents with care and services necessary to get the highest quality of life possible; and failure to notify doctors and family members about patients' injuries and illnesses.

Beth Smith, administrator at the Lexington nursing home, said she expects her facility to be removed from the list in the next year, the newspaper reports.

"We have shown improvements," Smith said.

In addition to the chronic problems, the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services is investigating a specific complaint at Cambridge Place, although the details cannot be released at this time, cabinet spokeswoman Bond said. Smith said she could not comment on that, reports the Herald-Leader.

Copyright: The Lexington Herald-Leader

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  • by jenny Location: frankfort on Jan 3, 2008 at 10:36 PM
    Nursing homes dont want to spend money hiring people may be part of the problem but another part is no one wants those jobs. They are low paying, you are under appriciated and then you have people like findingoutnow taking up time you already dont have. If he has time to do all that why doesnt he have the time to keep his mother at home? I personally would never do that job for the little bit of money those aids make, then you have family being nasty to you. I would never be mean to someone I was leaving a loved one with but you hear people talk all the time about " I told them this" or " I demanded yada yada". Thats worse them being nasty to someone getting ready to serve you food!
  • by NICOLA Location: FLORIDA on Jan 2, 2008 at 05:56 PM
    I find this article very disturbing. I am currently serving in the military and my mom is in one of the facilities listed in this article. Unfortunately, I am not able to visit on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. I have to leave my trust in God knowing that he hears my prayers and will see to it that my mom is well protected and cared for. Fortunately, I do have family there who visits and is very concerned with my mom's care. I hope and pray that this is a wake up call for the "office staff" for these places. Hire more help, do adequate screenings, and stay on top of your job....that is what you get paid for. For those of you who are doing what you're supposed to...THANKS!!!!!!!! To all of you, just remember God is OMNIPRESENT, He is everywhere and sees everything.
  • by Steve Location: KY. on Jan 2, 2008 at 07:23 AM
    They pay the administrators an extremely high salary and won't hire enough help. I don't think an administrator should be making a six figure salary in a small nursing home, but they do. Get rid of some of the higher paid, do nothing, people, and hire more help!!
  • by Findingoutnow Location: Lexington on Jan 1, 2008 at 09:55 PM
    I now am seeing first hand unfortunately what goes on in Nursing homes. My mom had to be placed here in Lexington 8 weeks ago because of Alzhteimers. My best efforts could not allow me anyway else to have her cared for. After watching what goes on at all times of the day and night in these places, my BEST ADVICE for anyone having to do this to a loved one is, SHOW UP at ALL different times of the day and night! The more your face is seen visiting, obseving, talking with employees, asking questions,checking meds prescribed for them, anything and everything will HELP. Not enough people to care for the patients is a MAJOR problem. This isn't an answer but it will help if you are KNOWNED by these facilities. Omsbudsmen are there for you also. Call them with ANY problem you have. They do help !!
  • by Anonymous Location: Lex on Dec 30, 2007 at 04:05 PM
    After reading the article I was disappointed that it was only reported on the negative. I work for one of the facility on that article. And I feel that if you are going to report on something also include some of the positive things and changes that these facility are making to insure and to inprove the quaility of life for the residents that live in these facility. I have seen first hand some of these changes, from hiring better qualify people to major inprovements to the facility itself. With the high cost of health care going up it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to run and maintain one these faciliy. I myself enjoy working with the facility that I am currently employed at. I enjoy the staff as well as the resident that live here. I have made a lot of new friends here, I have been given the chance to make people smile and to visit with some of these residents who do not get visitors month after month. I do enjoy my job. So please report on the positive as well..
  • by Anonymous Location: KY on Dec 30, 2007 at 11:16 AM
    I know of another that probably needs to be added to that list! I also would LOVE to see the entire list...
  • by Anonymous Location: KENTUCKY on Dec 30, 2007 at 05:25 AM
    I want to see that list!!! ALL of it!!!
  • by concerned Location: kentucky on Dec 29, 2007 at 03:19 PM
    it is sad of the terrible treatment and poor medical. couls also probably put the fcdc medical treatment on this list in my opinion. very poor.........
  • by Carol Location: KY on Dec 29, 2007 at 08:40 AM
    It shows where our nation's priorities are...I believe the way in which we as a nation treat our elders and our children truly shows the national character. Unfortunately, I don't believe we as a nation have reached the point where we truly value many in these two segments of our least our actions as a whole seem to indicate that.
  • by Lori Location: Lexington on Dec 29, 2007 at 08:05 AM
    Until these facilities hire more people to take care of your loved ones they will never change. I work in a facility in Lexington and we are always short handed. All the facilities care about is the money. They could care less about the elderly in the nursing home. We were told before Christmas that money was the bottom line and hiring more people was not "feasible" at this time. When you have 2 aides trying to take care of 60 people I think hiring more would be a good idea. But what do I know? I work every day breaking my back trying to help the elderly that clearly need help while the facility they are in doesn't give a *#&$ about them one way or another. If there were any way to keep your loved ones at home I would certainly suggest that because I know what I'm talking about. Where I work it is all about the money and how much they can save. They don't care about the elderly, their well-being, their medicines or anything else...just the cash flow


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