By Dan Margolies – Kansas News Service/KCUR
Nine nursing homes in Kansas and 14 in Missouri are among nearly 400 nationwide with a “persistent record of poor care” whose names had been withheld from the public, according to a U.S. Senate report released Monday.
The facilities are not included on a shorter list of homes that get increased federal scrutiny because of health, safety or sanitary problems.
The names of the previously undisclosed facilities were released by Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey, a Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Republican, as part of their investigation of federal oversight of nursing homes.
The nearly 400 homes qualify for the federal Special Focus Facility (SFF) program but aren’t selected to participate because of limited resources at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), according to the Senate report.
“Despite being indistinguishable from participants in terms of their qualifications for enhanced oversight, candidates are not publicly disclosed,” the report states. “As a result, individuals and families making decisions about nursing home care for themselves or for a loved one are unlikely to be aware of these candidates.”
Here are the Kansas and Missouri homes that are candidates for the SFF program, according to the Senate report, along with the number of their certified beds. (The bed numbers come from Nursing Home Compare, an online reference maintained by CMS that rates nursing homes based on health inspection reports, quality of care measures and overall staffing.)
- Enterprise Estates Nursing Center, Enterprise, 41 beds
- Great Bend Health & Rehab Center, Great Bend, 65 beds
- Woodlawn Care and Rehab, DBA Orchard G, Wichita, 93 beds
- Indian Creek Healthcare Center, Overland Park, 120 beds
- Fort Scott Manor, Fort Scott, 45 beds (This facility closed last year.)
- Pinnacle Ridge Nursing & Rehab Center, Olathe, 94 beds
- Westy Community Care Home, Westmoreland, 43 beds
- Via Christi Village Pittsburg Inc., Pittsburg, 96 beds
- Mount Hope Nursing Center, Mount Hope, 45 beds
- Kansas City Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, Kansas City, 180 beds
- Crestview Home, Bethany, 92 beds
- Normandy Nursing Center, St. Louis, 116 beds
- Garden Valley Healthcare Center, Kansas City, 156 beds
- Life Care Center of Bridgeton, Bridgeton, 91 beds
- Hillside Manor Healthcare and Rehab Center, St. Louis, 208 beds
- Parklane Care and Rehabilitation Center, Wentzville, 240 beds
- Crystal Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center, Florissant, 158 beds
- Maple Wood Healthcare Center, Kansas City, 150 beds
- Edgewood Manor Center for Rehab and Healthcare, Raytown, 66 beds
- Christian Care Home, Ferguson, 150 beds (This facility is no longer participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.)
- Lewis & Clark Gardens, St. Charles, 142 beds
- Redwood of Raymore, Raymore, 142 beds
- Rancho Manor Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Florissant, 120 beds
Two Kansas nursing homes and three Missouri nursing homes are in the SFF program:
- Serenity Care and Rehab, Overland Park, 145 beds
- Garden Valley Retirement Village, Garden City, 78 beds
- Hidden Lake Care Center, Raytown, 112 beds
- St Johns Place, St. Louis, 94 beds
- Green Park Senior Living Community, St Louis, 188 beds
As the Senate report notes, the SFF program “targets those facilities that ‘substantially fail’ to meet the required care standards and resident protections afforded by the Medicare and Medicaid programs.” The program aims to stimulate improvements in their quality of care.
Linda MowBray, vice president of the Kansas Health Care Association, a trade association representing 260-plus Kansas nursing homes, said that SFF program participants are chosen from the poorest performing facilities in the bottom 20% of state inspection surveys.
“The state survey agency identifies two to three facilities from the lowest 20% that have demonstrated a special need for more oversight due to history of deficiencies, staffing levels and/or quality outcomes,” she said.
“They may very well need to be a special focus home,” MowBray said. “But it may be that they are in that bottom quintile because of one particular incident, not necessarily a longstanding history that’s care-related. But some facilities do have a record of having more widespread problems.”
She added: “It’s public information and people need to know it, but I really believe that in Kansas we’re getting our act back together.”
Only 88 nursing homes out of more than 15,700 nationwide are currently participating in the SFF program, according to the Senate report
The program dates to 1987, when Congress enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act requiring nursing homes to maintain “the highest possible mental and physical functional status of residents.” The act also established oversight procedures, including regular surveys and inspections.
Unlike SFF participants, which are required to notify the public of their participation in the program, SFF candidates are not. Adding further confusion to the picture, 27% of the SFF candidate facilities had two stars out of a maximum of five on Nursing Home Compare.
In Kansas, some of the ratings may be dated. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), the agency that conducts nursing home surveys, had fallen behind the federal schedule that calls for nursing homes to be inspected at least once a year.
“It’s taken KDADS quite some time to get caught back up with surveys,” MowBray said. “So we’ve had facilities that have gone as long as 24 months between surveys, and we don’t like that, the homes don’t like that.
“Some of the rankings have been hanging around their neck for a long time and they’ve made quite a few improvements since that bad point. But that bad survey’s still hanging out there.”
Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.