Arizona is an example of a state whose nursing home facilities can be given a really good overall report card, but still be considered not much above average by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). Even with good ratings, family members who are looking for a nursing home for their loved one should still thoroughly investigate the status of nursing homes in general. Then, all homes that make it to their “short list” need to be completely vetted.
Arizona Nursing Home Ratings and Ranks
CMS uses a 5-star rating system in evaluating the quality of physical and clinical care provided to nursing home residents. The three main standards the CMS uses for rating nursing homes are:
- The nature, number and extent of inspection reports.
- Number and quality of nursing staff, as well as the time nursing staff members spend providing patient care.
- Evaluation of nine quality measures.
The current CMS rating gives Arizona nursing homes 3.4 stars. Although 51 percent of homes rated four and five stars, 49 percent received only one, two or three stars. Based on its star rating, CMS ranks Arizona as 19th among states for nursing home safety and care.
Another rating system is provided by Families for Better Care (FBC). FBC is an independent, non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving nursing home care and increasing public awareness of the problems invariably found in every state’s nursing home population. It issues an annual report card based on several evaluation criteria. Its 2014 Nursing Home Report Card gave Arizona nursing homes an overall grade of “A,” a vast improvement over its 2013 grade of “C.”
The Report Card also ranked Arizona’s nursing homes No. 8 in the nation for quality, up from its 2013 rank of No. 21. Even so, there are some real problems with Arizona nursing homes that still need to be addressed and corrected.
Specific Problems Found in Arizona Nursing Homes
Despite the state’s apparent good ratings, there are still some major problems with Arizona nursing homes between 2013 and 2016.
- As many as 88% of all nursing homes in Arizona have received deficiency citations. A citation means the home is operating in violation of state or federal law.
- Nearly a quarter of those deficiencies were considered serious, threatening the well-being, safety and, in some cases, even the lives of nursing home patients.
- Although Arizona nursing homes improved their nursing staff qualifications and nurse/patient ratio from 2013 to 2014, they still need to make improvements in this area.
- A total of 3,094 citations for deficiencies were issued.
- Fines totaled $979,000 going back three years from April 2016
Who Regulates Nursing Homes in Arizona to Make Sure They are Safe?
The Department of Health Services of Arizona, Assurance and Licensure Division of Long Term Care is responsible for licensing of nursing homes. There is also an Ombudsman in the Aging and Adult Administration of Arizona. There is always a nursing home abuse attorney standing by ready to help whenever nursing home patients suffer from neglect and are harmed.
List of Currently Problematic Arizona Nursing Homes
The CMS maintains a list of nursing homes in the “Special Focus Facility” group. These facilities represent the worst offending and most problematic nursing homes in the county. Below are some of the facilities in Arizona that are currently on that list.
Solterra Subacute Services
1501 East Orangewood Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85020