Pennsylvania nursing homes on Monday received a failing grade from a national advocacy group, which gave it one of the worst report cards in the nation.
Families for Better Care based its report card on eight measures collected by the federal government. These include number of problems found during government inspections, staffing levels and number of verified complaints. Pennsylvania ranked among the bottom ten states in measures including staffing hours per resident, number of facilities with deficiencies and portion of homes rated as average or worse than average by Medicare.
Brian Lee, the organization’s executive director, called understaffing a “chronic problem” at Pennsylvania nursing homes.
“A great way for Governor Wolf and Pennsylvania lawmakers to improve nursing home safety is by passing a tough staffing standard, something the residents sorely need,” he said in a news release. “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.”
Quality issues at Pennsylvania nursing homes had much to do with the state’s two U.S. senators, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey, pushing for more public disclosure of information about troubled nursing homes.
Pennsylvania ranked 46th among the states, down from 32nd in 2014, the year of Families for Better Care’s previous report card. Pennsylvania received a D in 2014.
Texas ranked worst, ahead of North Carolina, Illinois, Georgia, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. The best grades went to Hawaii, Delaware, Alaska, Rhode Island and Utah.
Pennsylvania received better than a D for only two of the eight measures. It received a C for its proportion of homes with severe deficiencies, placing it roughly in the middle of the pack nationally. Still, that’s a significant drop from 2014, when Pennsylvania received an A and ranked eighth-best.