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Atchison Nursing Home Tops State List

The non-profit Kansas Advocates for Better Care is out with its annual list of nursing homes cited by state inspectors for the fewest deficiencies.  The facility at the top of the list is in Atchison, Kan.

The Dooley Center, in Atchison, has not been cited for a single violation the past three years. Mitzi McFatrich, who heads Kansas Advocates for Better Care (KABC), says 20 nursing homes in the state have had five or fewer deficiencies in the last three years.

"None of them are citations that are related to actual harm of a resident, immediate jeopardy of a resident, or mistreatment of a resident," she says.

McFatrich says KABC has been reviewing nursing home inspections since 1998.  That year, there were 278 nursing facilities in Kansas.  81 of them were deficiency-free.  Only 4 of the 343 facilities inspected last year could make that same claim. 

That might suggest that nursing homes in Kansas are getting worse.  Or perhaps Kansas nursing home inspectors are increasingly thorough.

"But whether or not there’s any evidence to support that, I don’t know," McFatrich says. "I certainly haven’t seen that evidence."

McFatrich says government inspections are not the only way to judge nursing homes, but they do provide an unbiased comparison.

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