Letters to the Editor

Pa. has top-notch nursing homes

Recently, the quality of Pennsylvania’s nursing home facilities has been questioned by government regulators and the media, but we’re here to tell you that Pennsylvania has some of the best facilities in the nation.

We know this because our member facilities were recently recognized for the tireless work of their dedicated staff. U.S. News and World Report ranked nursing homes around the country, and 46 facilities in Pennsylvania received the “best” category of five stars and 125 scored a four-star rating. Doing the math, LeadingAge PA is quite proud that nearly two-thirds of the five-star facilities are our members.

We believe many facilities have the potential to improve, but the federal survey system holds progress back. Federal rules require state government inspectors to survey all facilities equally, but we believe a better solution is the “80/20 principle.” Surveyors should spend 80 percent of their time in the bottom 20 percent of nursing facilities. Logic dictates more time, resources and assistance will help those facilities improve.

Pennsylvanians should know that they will find some of the hardest working and most dedicated people in our nursing facilities, as well as other settings that care and provide services for our elderly. They deserve our thanks for the selfless work that they do every single day.

Ron Barth, Mechanicsburg

The writer is CEO of LeadingAge PA.