Sens. Casey and Toomey issue report revealing hundreds of troubled nursing homes

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This Aug. 3, 2017 photo provided by Human Rights Watch shows Laurel Cline during a visit to her mother Lenora, who has Alzheimer’s disease, in a nursing home in Whittier, Calif. Laurel says her mother, during stays at three different nursing homes in recent years, was sometimes left neglected for hours at a time in her wheelchair after being given antipsychotics. “Instead of seeing what’s wrong with her, they just want to drug her up,” said Cline. (Ed Kashi/Human Rights Watch via AP)

As of April, nearly 400 nursing homes nationwide had what is being called a “persistent record of poor care.”

The federal government had never released the information until Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, both from Pennsylvania, ordered the report be released.

“I just don’t think that’s acceptable. It’s just not okay for a family to be kept in the dark about the quality of care that their family member is receiving at the residence of a nursing home,” Sen. Toomey told KDKA on the phone earlier today.

The Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services conducts the tests.

“They have a program of inspecting nursing homes on an annual basis and Senator Casey and I wrote a letter to them to ask them to disclose to us all the facilities that have failed this test,” he said.

Out of the 400 facilities that failed the test, 16 Pennsylvania nursing homes are among them.

In Westmoreland County, two facilities had documented problems: The Grove at Latrobe with 107 beds and the William Penn Care Center in Penn Township with 155 beds. In Allegheny County, the 187-bed Corner View Nursing and Rehab Center in Homewood didn’t pass.

Issues include things like cleanliness, infection rates, food service and staffing levels. KDKA called the nursing homes in Pittsburgh and Westmoreland County but did not receive replies.

So if you have family members in those facilities, what should you do?

“My advice would be to approach the nursing home staff, the management of the nursing home, and ask them a lot of questions about this test,” Sen. Toomey advised. “I would ask to see the test, ‘I would like to see what their grades were on the test,’ and ‘Where did they fall down?’ and ‘What have they done about it?’”

Sen. Toomey says the facilities will not be fined, but just knowing that these reports are now public should be powerful enough to force changes.

List of Special Focus Facilities

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