Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Colorado gets 'B' grade for nursing home care

By Jakob Rodgers Updated: August 21, 2013 at 11:23 am 0

Registered nurses in nursing homes across Colorado received high marks in a national report card that included grades for how much time they spend with residents.

But on average, the nursing homes across the state were scored poorly for deficiencies - such as injuries or poor service.

The results were released this month as part of a nationwide report card by Families for Better Care Inc., a Florida-based lobbying group. Overall, the organization gave Colorado's nursing home system a "B" grade for ranking 16th nationwide.

Alaska ranked the highest on the report card, while Texas finished last.

The state scored its worst grades in care categories - registering 37th in the nation for infractions, such as food being too old or staff members who didn't respond quickly enough to calls for help.

The state also ranked 44th in serious deficiencies, when nursing home residents were either harmed or placed in imminent danger. The category includes instances when residents fell, were injured, or wandered out of facilities amid poor oversight.

"The state definitely has room for improvement," said Brian Lee, executive director for Families for Better Care Inc., a 501(c)4 lobbying group.

The report, though, praised Colorado nursing homes for offering an average of nearly one hour of registered nurse care a day.

Shelley Hitt, the state's ombudsman for long-term care, said that the rankings offered an overly-simplistic view of the state's nursing homes - and she urged Coloradans to conduct closer research on each facility before making a decision.

To view reports by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on each nursing home in the state, visit http://bit.ly/1apgqcc.

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Contact Jakob Rodgers: 476-1654

Twitter @jakobrodgers

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