Washington nursing homes are an example of how facilities can rank in the middle of the pack and still have enough deficiencies that their overall quality is called into question. (A deficiency is issued when a nursing home fails to comply with a state or federal law or regulation.)
Despite its average rating, Washington state nursing home care ranks last in overall quality among all nursing homes in the Pacific Alaska region. Before you choose to place your loved one in a Washington nursing home, you need to conduct diligent firsthand research. If a loved one already resides in a nursing home in Washington and you suspect neglect or abuse, seek the advice of a nursing home lawyer immediately.
Washington Nursing Home Statistics
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) use a star rating system to rate the performance of each state’s nursing homes. Factors it uses include:
- How well the nursing homes have performed in meeting minimum quality standards in home inspections.
- The number of nursing hours spent with each patient depending on the overall needs of the patients cared for in each specific facility.
- Quality measures based on 11 different criteria used to determine how well a facility is meeting the physical and clinical needs of its patients.
The current CMS star quality for Washington nursing homes is 3.5. Even though that seems not so bad, 45% of all Washington nursing homes rated only three stars or lower.
A non-profit independent organization, Families for Better Care, is dedicated to improving the quality of nursing homes across the county. In response to its evaluations, it issues a Nursing Home Report Card. The most recent report card for 2014 gave Washington nursing homes an overall grade of “C” and ranked it 27th in the country. This is an ordinary rating, right in the middle. Average. But, it is important to note that Washington nursing homes are going backward, not improving. In 2013, they ranked 22nd overall and still received a “C” grade.
Specific Problems with Washington Nursing Homes
Despite its average CMS star rating and average “C” grade report card, Washington nursing homes still have a number of problems that should make family members wary of having one of their loved ones residing in one of these homes. Specifically, in just one year:
- 1/3 of all nursing homes in Washington were cited for some type of mistreatment of its patients ranging from neglect, abuse and intentional mistreatment.
- The total number of deficiencies in one year was 6,052, with many of them considered serious.
- The homes received 121 fines totaling $331,504.
- Of all complaints submitted to the state Ombudsman, more than 85% of them were found to be valid after an investigation.
Who is in Charge of Regulating Washington Nursing Homes?
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Aging and Long-Term Support Administration, has the obligation of licensing and monitoring nursing homes in Washington. There is also an Ombudsman Program designed to assist patients and their families in resolving issues they have with a specific nursing home facility. If the ombudsman cannot help you resolve your issues, perhaps a nursing home abuse attorney can.
Worst Rated Nursing Homes in Washington
The CMS keeps a running list of the worst nursing homes in the United States. The ones below are located in Washington.
Avamere Bellingham Health Care & Rehab Services
1200 Birchwood Ave
Bellingham, WA 98225