Sacramento Nursing Homes Have More Quality Violations Than Other California Cities
Nursing homes in Sacramento did not meet federal and state standards of care more often than facilities in the rest of the state's 10 largest cities, the Sacramento Bee reports. In 2003 and 2004, Sacramento nursing homes received 44 citations for violations of state standards, more than any other city in the state, according to an analysis of state nursing home inspection records by the Bee.
In addition, Sacramento's 23 nursing homes received 549 citations for violations of federal standards. Sacramento nursing homes -- followed by San Diego, San Jose and Oakland -- received the most federal violations among nursing homes in the state's 10 largest cities.
Sacramento nursing homes also were fined more for state citations on average than facilities in other cities. The average fine per facility in Sacramento during 2003 and 2004 was $19,300, compared with an average of $3,728 statewide.
In addition, about 43% of Sacramento nursing homes had more than 25 federal deficiencies during 2003 and 2004, compared with 28% statewide.
Charlene Harrington, a long-term care expert and professor at the University of California-San Francisco, said nursing home deficiencies are related to staffing levels.
According to the Bee, about 80% of Sacramento nursing homes have staffing levels below the state average. The average amount of daily staffing hours per patient in Sacramento nursing homes during 2003 and 2004 was 3.2 hours -- equivalent to the state requirement. However, federal Medicare officials recommend 4.1 staffing hours daily per patient.
Sacramento nursing homes were issued three class AA citations -- violations that involve a death -- in 2003 and 2004, more than any other city in the state. Sacramento also had the highest number of "serious" level state citations, according to the Bee.
Nursing homes in Sacramento had the second-highest number of severe federal deficiencies, following facilities in Los Angeles.
Nursing home officials and industry leaders said that facilities in Sacramento are inspected more stringently because of their location near the Department of Health Services headquarters and state legislators (Reese/Weaver Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 10/2).