Report Finds Some FL Nursing Homes Violating Staffing Law Along with High Usage of Antipsychotic Drugs on Seniors


Research study details Consulate Health Care’s alarming record in Florida.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jose Suarez, jose.suarez@1199.org, 561.267.7069

MIAMI – 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Florida (1199SEU Florida) today released a study that examines nursing home chain Consulate Health Care’s track record of federal and state fines and below-average care that has put the health of seniors and people living with a disability at risk.

The report found that Consulate, Florida’s largest nursing home provider, violated the state’s minimum staffing standards in 16% of its facilities for the first quarter of 2013. Additionally, the use of antipsychotic medications at Consulate nursing homes was above the state’s average in all but one of the homes for the first quarter of 2013, according to the study.

“Releasing this study at the apex of Residents’ Rights Month offers Floridians an opportunity to champion the federal and state mandated rights that are too often overlooked or treated wantonly, placing residents in jeopardy of harm,” said Brian Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care. “Frightening nursing home care is often traceable to shrewd nursing home owners who overwork, underpay and understaff their frontlines in the name of excessive profiteering.  When that happens, it’s like setting a time bomb on those valued residents’ rights we’re celebrating this month.”

Florida law mandates 2.5 certified nursing assistant (CNA) hours per resident per day, and when cut, as Consulate has done, facilities can see increases in falls, dangerous infections, painful bedsores, and other potentially life-threatening health risks.

The report regarding nursing home care at Consulate facilities is available to the public on the “Every Minute Counts” campaign website at www.EveryMinuteCountsFlorida.org/reports.

The “Every Minute Counts” campaign was launched in 2011 by the nurses and healthcare workers of 1199SEIU Florida to advocate for safe staffing in nursing homes and hospitals so that patients receive the bedside care they need. 1199SEIU Florida members have a proven track record of finding common sense solutions to improve the quality of life for all Floridians – from the passage of landmark safe nursing home staffing legislation and increasing the minimum wage to ensuring smaller class sizes for our students.

Key Findings About Consulate Health Care from the report:

A Shaky Track Record

• Consulate’s federal fines exceeded $1.5 million while state fines rang in at a whopping $397,250 • Two-thirds of Consulate’s nursing homes have been sanctioned by federal or state inspectors • 1 in 3 Consulate nursing homes were cited with a severe deficiency.
• Thirty-six percent of Consulate nursing homes are on Florida’s watch list “for not meeting state standards, or for not making corrections quickly enough.” The high number of watch list facilities is nearly twice the statewide average.
• At $679,900, Consulate’s Deltona Healthcare received Florida’s largest single federal fine in  recent history.

Staffing Levels
• 15.8% of Consulate facilities were below the state mandated 2.5 Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) hours per resident per day standard.
• An additional 62% of Consulate facilities were below the Florida average of 2.79 CNA hours per resident per day.

Pressure Ulcers

• 63% of reporting Consulate’s Florid a facilities have a higher percentage of high risk long-stay  residents with pressure ulcers than the Florida average.
• 43% of reporting Consulate’s Florid a facilities have a higher percentage of high risk short-stay  residents with pressure ulcers than the Florida average.

Depression
• 37% of reporting Consulate Florida  facilities have a higher percentage of long-stay residents who  have depressive symptoms than the Florida average.

Falls with Major Injury
• 43% of reporting Consulate Florida facilities have a higher percentage of long-stay residents  experiencing one or more falls with major injury than the Florida average.

Antipsychotic Medication Usage
• Only one reporting Consulate Florida facility is below the Florida average for percentage of long-stay residents who received an antipsychotic medication.
• 36.8% of reporting Florida Consulate facilities have a higher percentage of short-stay residents who received an antipsychotic medication than the Florida average.

Physical Restraints
• 46% of reporting Consulate Florida facilities have a higher percentage of long-stay residents who were physically restrained than the Florida average.

The full report with citations is available here:

www.EveryMinuteCountsFlorida.org/reports

Representing more than 24,000 nurses and healthcare workers throughout Florida and 400,000 workers across Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Florida, and Washington, D.C., 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. Our mission is to achieve affordable, high quality healthcare for all. 1199SEIU is part of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union.

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