Pittsburgh nursing homes among worst in Pennsylvania: report

The most recent data about nursing homes provided by an online report provides a grim picture of facilities in the Pittsburgh area. The data, released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, found that nursing homes in Pittsburgh averaged nearly 13 safety deficiencies over three years, more than any other city in Pennsylvania. This suggests that nursing home abuse and neglect are all too common in local facilities.

The data was posted on the Internet by CMS starting in the summer of 2012. In all, 35 nursing homes in Pittsburgh that were inspected were found to have committed 446 deficiencies over a recent three-year period. Six area homes in particular are noteworthy for putting their residents in danger. They were responsible for the majority of the state's L grades, the most severe problems. An L grade is given when the deficiency puts residents in "immediate jeopardy."

One of those facilities is the Cedars of Monroeville. In an example of the sorts of incidents that likely led to Cedars' low score, an 83-year-old man who lived independently moved in for two weeks for rehabilitation to prepare for heart surgery. But by strapping him into a wheelchair for hours at a time, forcing him to sit in soiled diapers and giving him the wrong medication, among other thing, the man's condition deteriorated. He ended up living at Cedars for five months before developing pneumonia and passing away.

All of this is a reminder to families who are looking for a nursing home for a loved one to do as much research as possible. Data like the CMS reports can be helpful, but families should visit and monitor the loved one's care as much as possible to be on the lookout for possible abuse or neglect.

Source: Timesonline, "Western Pa. nursing homes receive poor grades," Halle Stockton, Dec. 22, 2012