HARRISBURG, Pa. (WYTV) – Pennsylvania is taking a hard look at its nursing homes. The auditor’s office spent the last two years checking how the state health department monitors more than 700 nursing homes in Pennsylvania.
The report found three main issues: Nursing care, how complaints are handled, and how poor performing nursing homes are punished.
In a letter to Governor Tom Wolf introducing findings of the audit, DePasquale said data was inconsistent in how it was reported and that care was lacking:
We found that residents’ quality of life/care may be directly impacted by a nursing home’s ability to provide sufficient direct nursing care. Pennsylvania regulations governing nursing homes require that nursing homes provide at least 2.7 hours of direct nursing care, per resident, per day. We found DoH (Department of Health) lacked the requisite policies and procedures to guide its staff to ensure that nursing homes met this regulatory requirement.
From there, officials came up with 23 recommendations on how to fix those issues. DePasquale says the work is already showing results as those recommendations were being implemented before the audit was final.
There are more than 80,000 patients in Pennsylvania nursing homes right now.