Louisiana is among the highest ranked states in the nation for the number of severe deficiencies at nursing homes across the state.

According to a report from The Alexandria Town Talk, which references a recent analysis from the nonprofit journalism group ProPublica, 21 nursing homes in Louisiana, including one in Lafayette, were found to have at least one instance of severe violations in terms of patient care in 2011.

An online database on ProPublica’s website states that Courtyard Manor in Lafayette left at least two residents without adequate living facilities during the last inspection period.

“The bathroom door had holes on both sides, with splintered wood with sharp edges on the inside,” the report states. “One of the closet doors also had a hole in it. A section of the baseboards near the closets was missing and had two strips of sharp metal exposed. An adjacent section of the baseboards had sharp splintered wood. The inside of the toilet bowl was yellow.”

Louisiana Nursing Home Association Executive Director Joe Donchess tells The Shreveport Times that “nursing homes are inspected as much as a nuclear power plant:”
Nationwide, the data show 118,000 deficiencies at 14,565 nursing homes or care centers. Texas had 183 of the most severe violations -- several resulting in patient deaths. Other Southern states, such as Arkansas and Louisiana, were among the top in the nation for the most severe violations, ProPublica’s analysis reveals. The data show nursing homes not only were failing to address individual patient needs, such as adequate medication management and dental care, but also were slow to address or ignored egregious violations, such as sexual assaults, acute medical conditions and hazardous conditions.

Joe Donchess, Louisiana Nursing Home Association executive director, said deficiencies found during inspections show little more than a snapshot of a facility, and are not an accurate representation of nursing home care across the state. The proof, he said, is in customer satisfaction surveys which continue to show 88 percent of Louisiana families surveyed say their family members’ nursing facilities are doing a good job.

Nursing facilities are more closely scrutinized than other types of caregivers including assisted-living facilities and at-home caregivers, he said.
Read the full report from The Alexandria Town Talk here.

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