INsight | Quality of Care from Indiana Nursing Homes
Dave Farnbauch talked with ABC's INsight about the quality of care provided by nursing homes in Indiana. Unfortunately, Indiana is currently ranked very low in comparison to other states.
You can read the full transcript below, or access a PDF version of the transcript.
Charity: Welcome back to INsight. I'm here with Dave Farnbauch from Sweeney Law Firm. We're going to talk today about the quality of care delivered by nursing home, specifically in Indiana. Where does Indiana stand compared to the quality of care delivered by other States nursing homes?
David Farnbauch: Well Charity, we've talked about this a number of occasions about where Indiana ranks in terms of quality of nursing home care. Unfortunately we rank near the very bottom by organizations like AARP. They rank Indiana dead last in 50 States, we ranked 48th out of the 50 States in the average number of nursing hours per patient, which is really the most important thing. How many hours of care are you getting? We ranked 48th. So all these objective measures of quality of nursing home care, we rank near the very bottom.
Charity: So why? why do we rank so poorly?
David Farnbauch: I'm glad you asked me that question. If viewers are interested in learning the answer to that question, I want to direct them to some investigative journalism that was done by the Indianapolis Star this spring. There were a couple of reporters for the Indianapolis Star that dug very deeply into the question of why the quality of nursing home care is so poor in Indiana. And they wrote a series of articles in the Indianapolis Star, which are available online. I printed off a copy and the article’s probably 17 or 18 pages, but it goes into considerable detail about what's happened in the last 20 years with Indiana nursing homes, namely that there was a provision in federal legislation that enabled underfunded County Hospitals to apply for federal funding to pay for nursing home care, to upgrade that care back in 2000.
David Farnbauch: And at that time we only had about nine facilities that were owned by County hospitals. Now, 499 nursing home facilities in the state of Indiana are owned by small County owned hospitals. And the reason these County owned hospitals acquire the licenses of these facilities is because they can receive higher. They get higher billing rates for these patients. And what this article points out is these County owned nursing homes, which most of the facilities now in the state are County owned, instead of taking that federal funding and putting it into nursing care, hiring more nursing staff, paying adequate wages to the nursing staff or in other words putting the money into care, this article points out that these County owned nursing home facilities have diverted that federal money into the physical facilities of their hospitals. They built brand new hospitals, there has been several. There was a hospital down in Indianapolis that took this money and built a $750 million hospital. And the small County hospitals in different areas around the state have significantly hundreds of millions of dollars building new hospitals with this money that was originally intended to provide and upgrade the care in nursing homes. So that's a big part of the problem. The money is not really being spent on patient care.
Charity: If you feel like your loved one has been neglected or there has been an issue in a nursing home, Sweeney Law Firm would be happy to talk to you. It's something we've talked about many times that nursing home care is so very important. Give them a call today. 420-3137. We'll be right back.