Archive for Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Deficiency list includes TNC marks

But nursing home has improved inspections

January 27, 2010

Tonganoxie Nursing Center is on a list of 73 nursing homes in Kansas with poor inspection trends, a Lawrence-based advocacy group recently released.

But the number of deficiencies for the most recent data is in line with the average for Kansas.

Each year, Kansas Advocates for Better Care releases a list of Kansas nursing homes cited with 10 or more deficiencies for each of the home’s last three annual inspections.

The national average for deficiencies cited during an inspection is eight. Tonganoxie Nursing Center was cited for 12 by KABC, though the number of deficiencies cited in the most recent list is 11. The listing also showed that Tonganoxie Nursing Center was cited for actual harm, immediate jeopardy classified as “mistreatment” of residents during the most recent inspection survey.

Devin Eickelmann, administrator for Tonganoxie Nursing Center, though, said it’s important to further delve into the statistics.

“You could have 10 citations but it could be minimal harm,” Eickelmann said. “And that’s something people need to investigate when they read these articles.”

KABC’s data is based on inspection information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Web site,

For 2007-08, the nursing home had 12 deficiencies and in 2006-07 there were 27.

The nursing center failed to meet standards, according to inspectors, in 11 areas in an Oct. 14, 2008, inspection. All were corrected Nov. 12, 2008, the site said.

On a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the level of most harm, all deficiencies except for two were scored as a 2, which is listed as minimal harm or potential for actual harm. In administration deficiencies, the nursing center failed to keep accurate and appropriate medical records. That deficiency was rated as a 1, which is “potential for minimal harm.”

The other deficiency, rated a 3, was for failing to give residents proper treatment to prevent new bed (pressure) sores or heal existing wounds.

According to a KABC official, 11 deficiencies are listed instead of 12 on the Medicare site because KABC’s last update to its database was based on information dated Nov. 3, 2009. Since that time, the Web site has done an update and taken off complaint investigations before August 2008. At the time of KABC’s update, there was one deficiency that stemmed from a June 2008 complaint investigation.

Deficiencies in 2007-08 rated as 1s or 2s. In 2006-07, all were rated as 2s except for four areas, which were 3s.

Eickelmann noted Tonganoxie Nursing Center’s most recent inspection, in December, showed the nursing home had nine deficiencies.

KABC’s latest survey was from Aug. 1, 2008-Oct. 31, 2009.

“I think the reason we did better this year than last year is we’ve really focused on some enhanced programs,” Eickelmann said, noting resident counsel as an example. “Residents need a safe and comfortable environment for their concerns. It’s the administrators’ obligation to look at those concerns and resolve them.”

In response to the findings, he said people shouldn’t be scared by the numbers because “they don’t discuss scope and severity.” Instead they should investigate the citations, go to a facility and take a tour.

“Another thing that’s important for those looking to find a home is to take the tour, but visit with staff members there,” he said. “Visit with residents who are at the facility and utilize your general impressions. Are they happy, are they laughing? Do they appear to enjoy being there? That’s what you really want to look for.”

The Kansas nursing home with the most deficiencies during the most recent inspection survey was Hutchinson Care Center with 54. Bonner Springs Nursing and Rehab (16) and Hickory Pointe in Oskaloosa (23) also were on the poor trends list.

For more about Tonganoxie Nursing Center and other nursing homes, go to


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