Boosted by support from the Legislature, Florida is showing significant improvement in the overall quality of care at long term care centers, now ranking among the top 10 states in the nation, according to a Quality Care Report issued today by the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA).
The report shows that Florida is consistently among the strongest performers in terms of both current quality measures and gains made over the last several years, based on federal data on a wide range of standard quality measurements.
Florida ranked 7th overall among states for 2018, a significant jump from its 16th-place standing in 2014. Florida was No. 1 in the nation in setting requirements for staffing hours, and is first among the nation’s 10 most populous states in overall nurse staffing rates. Both these measures translate directly into care and attention provided to residents of long term care centers, FHCA says.
“Florida’s long term care centers are extraordinarily dedicated to providing the best care possible for our residents, and the Legislature has been an outstanding partner by providing resources to make these improvements possible,” said FHCA Executive Director Emmett Reed. “It’s clear that resources dedicated to quality care means money well spent, not just for those we serve but for the professionals who devote their lives to our residents.”
The Quality Care Report compiles statewide and national data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The report reflects major improvement for Florida in rankings overall and in specific areas, including staffing, depression prevention, and drug administration. Findings include:
Florida ranks among the top 10 states in several staffing-related measures, including minimum staffing hours set by the state (No. 1), total nurse staffing (No. 9), certified nursing assistant (CNA) staffing (No. 8), and minimum CNA training and clinical hours (No. 7).
Florida centers average a 3.8-star rating (on a scale of 1 to 5 stars), outpacing the national average of 3.4 stars.
Florida has seen a reduction of 14.5 percent in the number of residents using antipsychotic medications, jumping 17 spots in its national ranking.
For long-stay residents, Florida ranks among the top 10 states in positive outcomes when measuring the portion of residents needing increased help with daily activities (No. 8); having the lowest portion of residents self-reporting moderate to severe pain (No. 5), experiencing depressive symptoms (No. 3) and experiencing one or more falls with major injury (#No. 8), and the highest portion of residents receiving pneumococcal vaccine (No. 10).
For short-stay residents, Florida ranks among the best five states in having the lowest portion of residents with new or worsened pressure ulcers (No. 3) and self-reporting moderate to severe pain (No. 5).
Florida is consistently a top recipient of industry ratings and awards. The national leader in number of AHCA/NCAL Quality Awards, Florida continues to push for improvement with the number of awards increasing by 57 percents since 2014.
“We’re gratified to see this visible proof of outstanding quality of care provided by Florida’s long term care profession and the progress over the last several years,” Reed said. “Funding and quality improvements go hand in hand, and we appreciate the support of the Legislature for recognizing that in recent years. We ask for their continued support by extending the 2018 Medicaid funding increase -- to advance the hard work, commitment, and compassion of the outstanding men and women who care for our residents on a daily basis.”
A copy of the FHCA Quality Care Report detailing these quality care figures is available at FHCA.org/qualitymatters.
The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation that serves almost 1,000 members and represents over 500 long term care centers that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and sub-acute care, short-term rehab, assisted living, and other services to the frail elderly and individuals with disabilities in Florida.