Lexington Herald-Leader article on Kentucky’s backlog of nursing home inspections
As of June, according to a CMS database of nursing home quality information, 73 percent of Kentucky’s 277 nursing homes were listed as going more than two years without a so-called “annual” inspection.
“It is concerning to us that (state inspectors) are so far behind,” Culp said. “These surveys are important,” she said. “To have trained health care professionals go in and review a sample of medical records, observe how care is administered, see how the food is prepared, talk to the residents and the staff, walk the halls — that’s just so valuable.”
Read more at kentucky.com
In case you missed it
The US Senate Special Committee on Aging released a new report, “Uninspected and Neglected: Nursing Home Agencies are Severely Understaffed, Putting Residents at Risk.” The report details a nationwide staffing crisis at state survey agencies that is directly impacting the health and well-being of nursing home residents.
The Committee’s report recommended increased funding from Congress for state survey agencies. The report also notes the critical role of Long-Term Care Ombudsmen in advocating on behalf of residents and calls for increased funding for the LTCO program.
In the past 12 months long-term care ombudsmen have seen an increase in complaints in long-term care facilities compared to the previous state fiscal year. In State Fiscal Year (July 1-June 30) 2022 Long-Term Care Ombudsmen worked to address 2,163 complaints and in 2023 complaints increased by 307 to 2,485 complaints.
The LTC Ombudsman Program regularly makes unannounced visits to LTC facilities. In State Fiscal Year 2023 program staff and volunteers made 10,554 visits, provided 17,347 information and assistance consultations to consumers, 3,307 consultations with facility staff, 51 group training sessions were provided to facility staff, and participated in Resident Councils 777 times.
Changes in Kentucky’s assisted living resulted in our services expanding to residents of assisted living facilities in State Fiscal Year 2023. Of the visits listed above 565 were to assisted living facilities.
A HUGE thank you to all LTCO program staff and volunteers. YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
You can send a message to Congress to support a strong staffing standard in nursing homes.
On February 28, 2023, President Biden announced a historic set of nursing home reforms. The centerpiece of these reforms was the promise to create a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes. For the first time, nursing homes will be required to provide, at a minimum, a certain amount of direct care each day to each resident. Since this announcement, residents, families, nursing home workers, and their advocates have been working tirelessly to support the Biden proposal.
Over twenty years ago, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) commissioned a study that found that a nursing home resident needed, at a minimum, at least 4.1 hours of direct care per day (hpd). Since then, nursing home residents have become sicker and in need of more care, while more functional individuals choose to remain at home. Any minimum staffing standard below 4.1 hpd will be unacceptable.
The nursing home industry is spending millions of dollars to try and derail this historic reform by the Biden Administration. Nursing Home residents need your help!
Use The National Consumer Voice online form to send a message to your members of Congress urging them to support a strong staffing standard in nursing homes.
Justin serves in Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman, Graves, Marshall, and McCracken Counties.
Justin Colley is the new Purchase Area District LTC Ombudsman serving out of the Purchase Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living in Mayfield. Justin began working in long term care at age 16 as a housekeeper and later became a nursing assistant. He earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Murray State University, Justin has held several roles in long term care and the mental health field.
“I have always been in the profession of helping people. It’s just what I do” Justin said. Justin is a Graves County native who now resides in McCracken County. Outside of work, Justin enjoys traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with his dog and cat.
The Buffalo Trace District LTC Ombudsman Program serves Bracken, Fleming, Lewis, Mason, and Robertson Counties.
Community Education and Engagement
Kimberly McKinnis, District LTC Ombudsman Amanda Grooms and Ashley Robinson shared program information with residents, families, facility staff and community members at a carnival hosted by Maysville Nursing and Rehab and Robertson Co Healthcare.
If you are hosting a community event, please invite your local ombudsman program. For a full listing of all District LTC Ombudsman Programs and the counties they serve visit our website
Prepare to Celebrate!
October is “Residents’ Rights Month,” a national annual event designated by Consumer Voice to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities. It is an opportunity to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect, and rights of each resident. Residents’ Rights Month is a time for staff, families, ombudsmen, residents and other advocates to focus on resident-directed care and emphasizing the self-determination, choice, and quality of life of each resident. Let us know if you have any questions and how you plan to celebrate email us.
Resident Voice Challenge
This year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme – Amplify Our Voices – emphasizes a community of long-term care residents coming together to make their voices heard. Amplifying your voice means being outspoken about your preferences and choices and sharing who you are and your experiences. Residents’ voices are the most important at the decision-making table – your story deserves to be told!
Creative writing and artistic expression are meaningful and compelling ways to highlight the importance of residents’ rights and how these rights can be carried out in all long-term care settings. The Resident’s Voice Challenge encourages residents to submit essays, poems, artwork, drawings, or videos related to the theme. Learn more about how residents can participate in the challenge visit The National Consumer Voice. Submissions are due September 1, 2023
What’s an Ombudsman?
Ombudsmen advocate for residents of long-term care facilities at no charge to residents or families.
Long-Term Care Ombudsmen
- Regularly make unannounced visits to long-term care facilities to visit residents.
- Protect the special legal rights of residents.
- Identify, investigate, and resolve residents’ problems and concerns.
- Empower residents to make informed choices.
- Work to monitor laws/policies to protect residents.
Long-term care ombudsmen serve residents in all counties in Kentucky. Visit our website!
The Kentucky State LTC Ombudsman Program is housed within the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass.
The KLTCOP is funded in part by state and federal funding provided by the Department for Aging and Independent Living.