Catholic Health Nursing Homes Excel In New York State Department of Health Surveys

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August 2, 2010

The Mercy Nursing Facility at the OLV Senior Neighborhood in Lackawanna received a “deficiency-free” survey from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). The deficiency-free survey is one of three for Catholic Health as two of the healthcare system’s other long-term care facilities, Father Baker Manor in Orchard Park and McAuley Residence in Tonawanda also received deficiency-free surveys within the past year.

According to the DOH, only seven percent of all nursing homes surveyed in New York State in 2009 achieved “Substantial Compliance,” which means they were deficiency-free or received only minor deficiencies. “This is outstanding and reflects the culture of compassion, dignity, and quality our associates have embraced for the benefit of our residents,” said Patricia O’Connor, administrator of the Mercy Nursing Facility at OLV. “I’d like to thank our clinical and support staff for all they do to make the Mercy Nursing Facility a home we can all be proud of.”

CMS contracts with state health departments to visit nursing homes periodically to ensure providers are meeting national regulatory standards. The survey team looks at many aspects of quality and safety including the care of residents, the interaction between residents and staff, and the nursing home environment.

Citations, or deficiencies in care, may result in fines, suspended payments or termination of the nursing home’s certification to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. In 2009, nursing homes in New York State received an average of seven citations during their health department surveys. The national average is 11.

The Mercy Nursing Facility at OLV is the newest skilled nursing facility in the Southtowns. Formerly housed within Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Catholic Health relocated the facility to a more appropriate and comfortable setting within the revitalized OLV Senior Neighborhood in 2008. The facility features a home-like atmosphere with private rooms, expansive great rooms with a fireplace and the smell of home-cooked meals that are prepared in kitchens located on each floor, or “household” as they are called.

“As an area leader in residential and senior care services, our associates work hard each day to provide our patients and residents with high quality, compassionate care,” said Christine Kluckhohn, president & CEO of Catholic Health’s Continuing Care Services. “The fact that three of our long-term care facilities achieved deficiency-free status speaks to the quality and consistency of care that is delivered across the Catholic Health continuum.”

In addition to the Mercy Nursing Facility, the expansive campus of the OLV Senior Neighborhood is home to Victory Ridge apartments, independent living apartments for seniors, and Catholic Health’s LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) program that provides key healthcare and quality of life services designed to allow seniors to continue living in their own homes.