Area nursing homes get top rating

Published 11:37 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You know you’re doing well when a rating system is issued for the first time and you earn the top ranking available.

Woodhaven Manor Nursing Home of Demopolis and Marengo Nursing Home of Linden did just that, earning the highest rating, five stars, in the first rating system issued by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), given last month.

The evaluation was based on health inspections, staffing levels and standard quality measures. Nursing homes were rated on a scale of one to five stars in each category and for an overall rating.

Email newsletter signup

According to an article written by Lydia Seabol Avant of the Tuscaloosa News, of the 22 nursing homes in west Alabama, 14 rated either four or five stars.

“These ratings pointed out what nursing home professionals knew for a long time,” said John Matson of the Alabama Nursing Home Association, “that Alabama nursing homes are providing a high quality of care.”

Administrator Glenda Miller of Woodhaven Manor Nursing Home said the state inspections are very comprehensive.

“They come in, and they stay for three days,” she said. “They go over everything. They talk to residents and talk with residents’ families. They go over the charts, and they observe the dietary department, how they cook the meals and making sure they are using sanitary techniques.

“They also look over the patients’ trust accounts to be sure that we’re operating that appropriately.”

“It is all based on our past history,” said administrator Alison Glass of Marengo Nursing Home. “We have always had our quality measures ratings up there, our good workers, and all that. The rating is based on information that we are required to send to them. It’s all the information that we have sent in to them, along with our records.”

Glass said Marengo’s last state inspection was in 2008, and Miller said the last inspection for Woodhaven was in 2007.

Miller said Woodhaven Manor has 92 employees, and that is factored into the rating.

“They the staff and how many we have per patient day,” she said. “Our facility has 75 beds right now.”

Glass said that Marengo has 118 employees with 78 beds.

Miller added that Woodhaven Manor gets a lot of 20-day Medicare stays for rehabilitation. It also provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, contracted through Restore Therapy of Pelham five days a week.

“We were all excited,” she said of learning of the facility’s top rating. “We’ve had people all over the community call to congratulate us.

“We feel like we do a good job here. I’ve worked here since 1976, when I started as the bookkeeper. Crowne Management in Monroeville bought us in 1987, and they are the best owner we have ever had. They’ve put money into it, they want us to have the equipment and have everything necessary to take the best care of our residents.”

“We always knew we were five-star,” laughed Glass. “We’re just glad CMS found that out. And now, everybody else knows it, too.”