For the first time, Louisiana is no longer the nation’s second worst nursing home state, reports Families for Better Care, a national nursing home resident advocacy group based in Austin. The group published its third state-by-state nursing home report card by analyzing eight federal measures to gauge nursing home quality.
Louisiana climbed seven spots in its national nursing home ranking by improving scores in half of the statistical categories. The category that showed most overall improvement was the percentage of facilities with deficiencies, climbing 23 spots to rank No. 20 overall, scoring the state’s first passing grade in the category.
“It’s good to see that some residents are benefiting from the state’s improved ranking, but there’s still much work to accomplish,” said Brian Lee, the group’s executive director. “Underwhelming nursing home performance continues to be a hallmark for too many facilities in the Pelican State.”
According to the report card, Louisiana had some of the lowest staffing levels when compared to other states. Staffing levels have fallen so far that the state now ranks at the bottom in the percentage of nursing homes with above average direct care staffing (7.2 percent) and the percentage of facilities with above average professional nurse services (4 percent).
“Failing grades in every staffing category is more than a glaring blemish,” Lee stated. “Inadequately staffed nursing homes are endangering the lives of the state’s elderly.”
A groundswell of grievances verified by the state’s ombudsman office reached their highest level in any report card (85.9 percent), indicative of a growing alarm from residents about their lack of care in Louisiana’s nursing homes.
“Governor Edwards and the Lousiana Legislature can build on this year’s improved nursing home ranking by passing a tough staffing standard, something the residents desperately need,” Lee stated. “But a new staffing standard isn’t enough, lawmakers must find a way to help nursing homes pay for any new staffing mandate if care is to improve at all.”
Louisiana’s 2019 Nursing Home Report Card is available for download at http://www.nursinghomereportcards.com.
ABOUT FAMILIES FOR BETTER CARE
Families for Better Care, Inc. is a non-profit citizen advocacy group dedicated to creating public awareness of the conditions in our nation’s nursing homes and developing solutions for improving quality of life and care. For more information, visit http://familiesforbettercare.com.