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Rating of Kansas Nursing Homes Comes Up With 12 High Performers

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Twelve of the 345 nursing homes in Kansas meet Kansas Advocates for Better Care criteria for high-performing facilities, according to the organization’s annual evaluation. Another 66 were deemed low-performing.

“The nursing home industry is fond of saying that quality-of-care standards are too high and that they can’t be met,” said Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care. “But here are 12 facilities that clearly have done just that."

Kansas Advocates for Better Care lobbies on behalf of Kansas nursing home residents and their families. The organization's annual listing is based on the number of deficiencies cited during inspections by Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services surveyors. A deficiency indicates the facility was found to be out of compliance with a state or federal regulation that’s meant to ensure residents’ safety and health.

Nursing homes that received 10 or more deficiencies in each of the last three years were considered low-performing. Those with five or fewer deficiencies were considered high-performing.

Caritas Center, a 22-bed facility within the Wichita Center of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, was the only nursing home that had zero-deficiency surveys in each of the last three years.

“Their nursing staff ratio is a little over five hours of care per resident per day,” McFatrich said. “The state average is three hours and 45 minutes. The ‘magic number’ for avoiding injury, illness and premature death is four hours and 26 minutes.

“So nursing staff ratio had a lot to do with their performance,” she said. “They also had very little turnover in administrative staff.”

Fifteen of the low-performing facilities are nonprofit, while 51 are for-profit.

Forty-six of the low-performing facilities were cited for deficiencies that involved mistreatment, actual harm or imminent risk of harm. None of the high-performing facilities were cited for harming residents.

Nursing home surveys are public record and are available on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website and the Kansas Advocates for Better Care website.

Dave Ranney is a reporter for KHI News Service in Topeka, a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team.

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