@patriciaborns When Families for Better Care, a Florida-based nursing home resident advocacy group, published the first-ever state-by-state nursing home report card, Florida looked pretty good. The state's nursing homes scored an overall 'B.'
But behind Florida's good grade, a more detailed scorecard noted the following:
* Professional nursing services were almost non-existent in Florida’s nursing homes, wherein each resident averaged only 39 minutes of professional nursing care per day.
* Deficiencies were found in 90.20 percent of facilities reviewed.
Nationwide, the report found that only seven states provided more than one hour of professional nursing care per resident per day, Only 1 in 3 nursing homes nationwide scored above average on health inspections Nearly 90 percent of all nursing homes were cited a deficiency.One in 5 nursing homes abused, neglected, or mistreated residents in almost half of all states.
Compared with a state like Montana whose long-term care ombudsman verified 100 percent of identified claims, you might think Florida, whose ombudsman verified about 50 percent of complaints, is doing something right. But as the Herald reported, the state's long-term care ombudsman program has been functioning as a rubber stamp for the nursing home industry. How reliable are the verified complaint numbers, in that case?
"It's easier to score higher when the care across the country is awful," says Brian Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care, who served as Florida's long-term care ombudsman for close to a decade. "The other states are just so darned awful."
On the plus side, Florida has one of the highest staffing ratios, Lee says.
Fortunately for consumers, Florida is also among a handful of states that keeps a watchlist of nursing homes whose care is considered "dangerous" to residents, leaving them vulnerable to pressure sores, falls and/or deaths. Currently 140 nursing homes are on the list. Read the report card.