How Our Nursing Homes Rank Top Ranked Bottom Ranked

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1 Lancaster New Era December 18, 2008 How Our Nursing Homes Rank Top Ranked Bottom Ranked By: TOM MURSE and CINDY STAUFFER A majority of Lancaster County's 32 nursing homes are performing above average in health inspections, staffing and quality, new federal ratings of all 16,000 facilities nationwide show. But there's room for improvement. Nearly one in four Lancaster County nursing homes is considered below average or worse, according to the new five-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The star ratings, similar to those used for restaurants and hotels, are intended to help consumers, families and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and help identify potential concerns. "The bottom line is that Pennsylvania, and in particular Central Pennsylvania, is lucky to have lots of good nursing homes," said Marsha Elliott, the director of marketing and planning at Pleasant View Retirement Community in Manheim. The nursing home scored four stars out of five - above average. Still, Elliott and other nursing home officials here caution against putting too much weight into the rankings. "This is a snapshot in time. Just reading the report would be like buying a car and reading the stats from the manufacturer," Elliott said. "Most people would do more research. They would go to different dealers. They would talk to friends. "The same thing is true of nursing homes," she said. "They should use this data as a springboard for asking questions." Countywide, 18 nursing homes scored four or five stars - above average and much above average. The five-star homes are: Calvary Fellowship Homes; Fairmount Homes; Landis Homes;

2 St. Anne's Retirement Community, and United Zion Retirement Community. The four-star homes are Conestoga View; Denver Nursing Home; Ephrata Manor; Garden Spot Village; The Glen at Willow Valley; Golden Living Center - Lancaster; Homestead Village; Lakeside at Willow Valley; Masonic Village at Elizabethtown; The Mennonite Home; Moravian Manor; Pleasant View Retirement Community; and Zerbe Sisters Nursing Center.Six nursing homes scored three stars - or average. They are: Brethren Village; Hamilton Arms Center; Harrison Senior Living of Christiana; ManorCare Health Services -Lancaster; Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community, and Rheems Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Seven nursing homes scored only one or two stars. Those getting two stars are: Audubon Villa; Lancashire Hall; Luther Acres Manor; and ManorCare Health Services -Elizabethtown. Those getting one star are Maple Farms Nursing Center; Susquehanna Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and Village Vista Manor. No data were available for Mt. Hope Nazarene Retirement Community because it is newly certified, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported. The ratings are based on state inspections, staffing levels and quality measures, such as the percentage of residents with pressure sores. The nursing homes will receive stars for each of those categories as well as for their overall quality. Steve Diffenderfer, the administrator for Susquehanna Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Columbia, questioned the findings and the rating system. The facility scored only one star - much below average. "They based it on the last annual inspection, which was in September of 2007, and at that time we received 10 deficiencies - all of which were minor," Diffenderfer said. "The local field office does a very good job of monitoring for deficient practices." He said the facility was marked down for not meeting the recreational needs of one out of 24 residents. He said that deficiency - and all others - were fixed long ago. "They've all been corrected. They were all corrected with the first revisit the Department of Health did," he said. "I just have to question how (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) applied that information."

3 Phone messages left at each of the other homes that scored one or two stars were not returned this morning. Fairmount Homes received a five-star rating. The Farmersville-area retirement community has 120 residents in its skilled nursing facility, and 330 residents overall. Fairmount's employees are "absolutely our strength, the work ethic they have and our Christiancentered Mennonite values," said president Jerry Lile. While the top rating was exciting for Fairmount, Lile encouraged people not to solely rely on numbers to evaluate a nursing facility. "Use it as a guide, but come out and make a visit," he said. "Ask questions." Families should inquire about issues such as staffing ratios and care issues. For example, if someone has a broken hip and needs rehabilitation, ask about a facility's rehab outcomes, length of stay and process for getting someone back to their home. Calvary Fellowship Homes in Manheim Township also received a five-star rating. It has 45 beds in its skilled nursing facility. Cliff Hurter, executive director, attributed the rating to recent positive surveys by state health department officials, good staffing levels and good quality measures, which examine things such as the rates of physical restraint, infections and bed sores. Hurter said Calvary is pleased with its rating, but said he does not think consumers actually use such surveys to choose nursing home care. Most families choose Calvary because they know someone who has received care or they know about the care provided there, he said. Another home that received a five-star rating was St. Anne's Retirement Community in West Hempfield Township. It has a 121-bed skilled nursing care facility.

4 "We try to be resident-centered, looking at each resident and their needs and develop their care plan accordingly so they reach their highest level of function and ability," said Sharon Nolt, administrator of health care. Like other nursing home officials, she encouraged families to consider surveys such as this, but also to visit a facility and get a feel for the care offered there. COUNTY'S HIGHEST, LOWEST RATED NURSING HOMES Calvary Fellowship Homes, Lancaster Fairmount Homes, Ephrata Landis Homes, Lititz St. Anne's Retirement Community, Columbia United Zion Retirement Community, Lititz Village Vista Manor, Lancaster Susquehanna Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Columbia Maple Farm Nursing Center, Akron ManorCare Health Services, Elizabethtown Luther Acres Manor, Lititz Lancashire Hall, Lancaster

5 Audubon Villa, Lititz

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