In Jan. 1 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
A new nursing home ranking system released by the federal government late last month ranked Fair Oaks Health Systems, LLC "much above average" after receiving five out of five stars using their criteria.
According to the government's Medicare Web site, 23 percent of Kentucky's nearly 300 nursing homes ranked "much below average" while 10 percent, including Fair Oaks, were "much above average."
The online ratings can be found at www.medicare.gov/NHcompare. The site's rating system gives an inside look at the quality of care in nursing homes, based on state inspection records, staffing and other measurements, according to the Web site.
Fair Oaks Co-owner Dr. Greg Faulkner said while he was "very proud" of the achievement, the system doesn't paint the true picture as far as other area nursing homes are concerned.
"We have a long history of doing well and taking care of our patients here at Fair Oaks," Faulkner said. That being said he felt their could be a better ranking system eventually applied.
"We work hard to provide the best health care system we can," he said. "But there are other facilities that are around us that are excellent and the numbers don't show that."
Faulkner said while he and is facility were proud of the honor by Medicare they are not perfect.
"Not by any means, but we try hard," he said. "That is all we can do."
Fair Oaks received five out of five stars on health inspections, according to the ranking. A team of trained health inspectors conduct onsite health inspections, on average, about once a year. Inspectors looked at the care of residents, the process of care, staff and resident interactions, and the nursing home environment, according to the Web site.
The data from the last three standard health inspections and all complaint inspections that have been conducted in the last three years were used to calculate the rating.
Fair Oaks also received five out of five stars on quality measures. This information was self-reported by the nursing home and comes from data that nursing homes routinely collect on all residents at specified times, according to the Medicare site.
The facility received only three out of five stars on staffing. This information was self-reported by the nursing home and gathered during the most recent health inspection, according to online information.
This star rating is for overall staffing hours, which include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses and certified nursing assistants, according to the Web site.
Other types of nursing home staff such as clerical, administrative, or housekeeping staff were not included in theses staffing calculations.
To calculate the rating, the number of staff hours per resident per day was used and then the information was case-mix adjusted. Case-mix adjustments take into account the different levels of resident needs in different nursing homes.
All of the aforementioned ratings gave the facility a five out of five overall rating.
According to the new nursing home ranking system, five stars is the highest ranking, with four stars being "above average" three stars meaning "about average" two stars being "below average" and one star being "much below average."
The rankings will be updated quarterly, according to the Web site.
For comparison, out of 11 nursing homes in Lexington, only one of them, Homestead Nursing Center, achieved a five-star rating.
According to the rating system, 22 percent of the almost 16,000 nursing homes in the country received the lowest rating possible while, nationally, 12 percent received the highest overall ranking, including Jamestown's Fair Oaks Nursing Home.
For more than 30 years, Fair Oaks Health Systems, LLC have cared for Russell County's citizens as well as those from surrounding area. The faciltiy has been given a "superior" rating for many years by the State Licensure and Survey Agency, according to Faulkner. The facility has 114 beds, a cafeteria, a dining room, sun room, conference room and bath facilities. Dr. Thomas Johnson currently serves as medical director of the home.