Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ohio's Health Department Wants Direct Authority to Go After Bad Nursing Homes

By Catherine Candisky
The Columbus Dispatch

The Ohio Department of Health wants more authority to crack down on poorly performing nursing homes and staff members who mistreat residents.

After a couple of highly publicized incidents, Gov. John Kasich’s administration has asked the state Senate to return to the two-year budget plan two provisions aimed at protecting residents and improving care. The measures had been proposed by Dave Holston, chief of the state agency’s Office of Health Assurance and Licensing, said the authority would allow state officials to act quickly if problems arise.

“We want to improve quality of care,” he said.

Holston pointed to an incident last summer when 175 patients at Regency Manor Rehabilitation and Subacute Center in Columbus spent more than a week without air conditioning before being relocated. In another case, an aide was charged after performing a sexually provocative dance on a 100-year-old resident at an assisted-living facility in Sandusky.

About 75,000 Ohioans live in 967 nursing homes across the state.

Some say the added authority is unnecessary.

“We’re not really sure why they need this. They can already intervene,” said Pete Van Runkle, executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association, which represents the nursing home industry.

The state has authority under the federal regulatory system to impose corrective action or appoint a temporary manager to take over as needed, he said.

Advocates for seniors support the administration’s proposal.


Jessica said...

The OH Health Dept should have direct authority. I'm glad they're pushing for it.

Nancy said...

More eyes on nursing homes is needed and they must have the power to do something about what they see.