Erie County Care Facility 'much below average'

Medicare’s “Nursing Home Compare” website generally gives good ratings for Sandusky-area nursing homes.
Tom Jackson
Jan 13, 2013

But there’s a glaring exception: The Erie County Care Facility, located at Osborn Park in Huron Township. It’s owned and run by Erie County’s government and is given an overall rating of only one out of five stars by the site. That’s a rating the site translates as “Much Below Average.”

The county nursing home is rated “Below Average” for health inspections, “Average” for staffing and “Much Below Average” for quality ratings.

Some of the common indicators for underperforming nursing homes aren’t present at the Erie County Care Facility. Inspectors found only a few deficiencies during the last inspection, and the
deficiencies weren’t major.

But Medicare spokeswoman Elizabeth Surgener said the overall one-star rating for the home is accurate and said it largely reflects the home’s poor score in quality measures.

A technical users guide says the five-star rating for quality measures is calculated using nine indicators.

Out of the nine, Erie County’s nursing home scores better than the state average for three but worse than the state average for six.

The home scored especially badly in three quality measures. More than 17 percent of its long-term residents had urinary tract infections, versus a state average of 8.3 percent and a national average of 7.6 percent.

The percentage of long-term residents reporting moderate to severe pain was 24.2 percent, versus an average of 13.6 percent for Ohio and 11.6 nationally. And the percentage of long-term residents who are physically restrained was 10.6 percent, versus 2.8 percent in Ohio and 2.2 percent nationally.

The home currently does not have an administrator, and the county commissioners are searching for one, commissioner Bill Monaghan said.

“We’re working on getting that addressed and getting our score up,” said Donna Patrick, director of nursing at Erie County Care Facility.

Patrick said by working with a quality improvement organization, Ohio KePRO, the nursing home has reduced the number of physically restrained residents to 3 percent. The nursing home also is working to reduce pain and urinary tract infections, she said.

The home may have a chance to raise its rating. This week, state inspectors were at the nursing home for an annual survey, and that visit should generate a written report in a few weeks. The health department’s report will be released as a public record after it’s been given to the nursing home, said Tessie Pollock, a spokeswoman for the department.

Monaghan said he was surprised to hear the county’s nursing home has such a low rating.

“I go there on a weekly basis,” said Monaghan, who said the building is kept in good shape.

“The place is immaculate. They do an outstanding job,” he said.

Monaghan said he also sometimes eats at the nursing home to make sure the food is OK.

Erie County’s nursing home is hindered by the federal government’s payment schedule, which classifies Erie County as a rural county but classifies Ottawa County as a metropolitan county, which receives better payments, Monaghan said.

“If we were classified the same as Ottawa County, we’d be getting half a million dollars more,” Monaghan said.

During the past decade, the Erie County Care Facility has lost about $3.8 million.

Pat Shenigo, another county commissioner, said county officials have worked hard to upgrade the center and the improvements are ongoing.

“We’re working really hard to bring ourselves into the 21st century,” he said.

The home will get an improved rehabilitation area, Shenigo said. That will attract Medicare patients, who receive a higher reimbursement rate than Medicaid patients, he said.



Worst care in the county and it still hemorrhaging money. Is it the nature of a county home? Are other facilities in other counties similar?

This facility needs to be available but at what cost?

Licorice Schtick

Erie Care is FAR from the worst in the county. Pretty good, all things considered. And keep in mind that the infection rate stats are only as trustworthy as the integrity of the facility's records.


Apparently you haven't been out there lately, or regularly like I have.


They didn't get to the root of the problem until the last paragraph. Money. Medicaid pays less than Medicare, and county facilities tend to end up with the patients no one else wants. And county-owned facilities tend to pay their workers a little more. Should that be considered a problem? Glad the Commissioners are working on this.



The county is paying its workers a little more but the care provided is less. So money does not provide better care or services ? There is a problem.

Licorice Schtick

YES there's a problem -we've created an economic system in which businesses get ahead by treating their workers as badly as possible, yet they oppose leveling the playing field by raising the minimum wage to a living wage.

We should also respect that a lot of the workers in this industry are passionate about their work and could get a better deal doing something else. That's the kind of people the best places have. The worst have people that only take the job because no one else will have them.


Not sure about these ratings. I've visited 5 of these places. Bottom of the barrel is Great Lakes. Just ask relatives of patients, especially those who got bed sores.

Licorice Schtick

Funny how quick government haters are to trust a govenment rating when it shows poor performance by a govenment facility.


Government run health care at its finest!


Anti-government... anti-union... trolls will run up the SR hits on this puppy....

In the end it will end up Obama's fault......


Not his. Same sheeple that voted for him though.
But this is what he wants for all of us.

The Big Dog's back

You sound like a worn out record.


Coming from the thing that still blames Bush at every turn. Ironic.


Double Post


Those of us that have had to make this choice for someone will tell you there is no perfect choice that fits all. There are other factors that are not mentioned in the ratings.


Sandusky's schools are considered urban schools by the state because of the number of low income families yet the county, with Sandusky as it's largest community, is considered rural for this issue? Doesn't make sense, does it? Kinda sounds like the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Most likely the different departments/entities don't communicate with one another.

Donutshopguy says "The county is paying its workers a little more but the care provided is less." It doesn't say the care provided is less. Perhaps the patients that are there had less economic means to take care of their health before they were residents of the facility. Perhaps their current health is worse overall than residents of other facilities. Perhaps the ratio of employees to patients is less than other facilities.

Also it doesn't tell what the 3 indicators are in which it scored better than state averages. It would be interesting to know what those indicators are.

Rod Farva

Raise taxes!

John Harville

MOre guns! Arm the residents so they can demand better care!!!



"More than 17% long term patients have urinary tract infections vs a state average of 8.3%."

This has nothing to do with recently admitted patients. This has to do with the lack of health care provided at the facility over an extended period of time. Sure glad we pay our workers more for that care provided. Maybe they should get a raise and we can push the infection rate above 20%.


Your missing Sam's point in your need to be antigovernment at all costs. Poorer people are less healthy so come in with more health problems so are more susceptible to UT infections and mental problems. You could take the same group of people to the most efficient privately run facility and they would have the same health problems and bring down any facility's score. Conversely you could take wealthy seniors to Erie and they'd be fine with the same level of care.

Licorice Schtick

There's no reasoning with government-haters, because they're selfish and greedy and most likely wealthy-wannabees who hate people and the only representation ordinary people have, a government of The People, by The People, for The People. When you prove they're wrong with logic, they just tune it out and harden their stance.


Which shows how ignorant liberals are. You prove people wrong with documented facts, NOT logic. The only thing I ever see from you are opinions.



Again, this is not about the people coming in. It's about long term patients. Get it, long term patients that have been at the facility for a long period of time. The urinary tract infections are at 20% for people that have been their a long time. This is a lack of health care for those patients.

John Harville

doNUT. "Long-term care" means providing more than post-op recovery, PT/OT to home, respite.
For 'long-term' residents this is 'home'. Many probably won't leave except in a bag. UTIs simply are a matter of poor perineal care. In another area home, administration decided STNAs were wasting perineal care cloths so cut back on how many an STNA could have. Some STNAs, not wanting to bother with washcloths, started using the brown paper towels from the bathroom.... State law requires residents who cannnot go to the bathroom be 'toileted' every two hours. But when one STNA has 15 patients - all in need of toileting - the task can become daunting. Well... I'm not going on. The concern about a UTI is the effect it can have on mental attitude, behavior, phusical issues.


You don't seem to get it. Patients who go to that facility, regardless of how long they have been there, are more likely to have preexisting health problems because of their poverty making them more susceptible to health problems. You don't clear up decades of health problems in any amount of time in seniors. This, I propose, is what is bringing down the score, not as you assert, that it is because it is a govt. facility. No one on this thread is making a distinction about recent admissions vs. long term patients to explain the score. We're saying Erie takes patients who were worse of to begin with. IDK how to be more clear here.


I'd rather skip the nursing home and go straight to the grave. Your life as you knew it is over anyway. Healthcare is a business. Don't bash the workers, they have to do things most won't do for any amount of pay. It's sad the way life can end but it is what it is. You can work for your entire life, pay all your taxes, never needed any assistance then you get sick, old and lose everything just to lay around waiting to die at a hefty price tag. No thanks! Sound to me this place does an "outstanding much below average" job there Mr. Comissioner.


Agree, I'd rather die than spend my final years in one of these places!


I worked as a nurse aide for years. It is backbreaking work, not to mention dealing with feces, urine, blood, vomit etc..Aides are horribly underpaid for the work they do. Cleaning up dead bodies was also part of my job.


Thank God there are people like you, willing to do that job.I had all I could do to clean up after my own kids !Bless you !


Jackel, Thank you so much. It wasn't all bad. I went above and beyond for my residents. I truly loved and cared about them. As for the bodily fluids, you get used to it.