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.



Re: "Maybe they should get a raise and we can push the infection rate above 20%."

Maybe they use some of "raise" to pay for an EZpass.....


No wonder the nursing home is not filled with ratings like that.

Swamp Fox

Surprising how many private operated facilities with lower employee costs are rated higher. Would Monaghan or Shenigo allow their family members be a patient at this facility? Time to sell this facility to a private health care company that understands how to run it and no longer be a drain on the taxpayers and improve the care.

John Harville

That hasn't worked well in other counties.


With ECCF current bed utilization rates, it would work just fine.


Seems most of the low scores are for things that relate to the health of the patients not quality of the employees or faculties.

I'd be interested to see the difference in income of the patients as the come in. If they were poorer to begin with then that would seem to explain many of the health problems, i.e. living in poverty is bad for your health.

John Harville

Some residents 'finish' at the county home when they run out of insurance or private pay funds and fall back on county care. County homes are the oldest form of care for the poor. Many were built as large farms before the Civil War with 'inmates' doing the farming and gardening, laundry, lawncare and most any other chores. Most homes had cells for the 'crazy'. Usually the big house has several rooms in which 2-6 people lived... sometimes entire families lived in one room. A doctor was paid to provide medical care. If needed, hospitalization usuall was at the county hospital and stays were brief. Inmates who died were buried in the farm cemetery at county expense. Beginnng in 70s counties turned over operation to private companies and the farm land was used for other purposes - most notably county offices and buildings. They transitioned to medical care and long-term residences to eliminate the 'poor farm' mentality. Many counties built new facilities and hired credentialed administrators and nursing staff. Unfortunately, when funds become short, the county home is top on the lists of cuts. STNA is near the top of available jobs but has the highest turnover because of the way faciities treat their staffs - I'm a certified volunteer long-term care ombudsman for the state of Ohio. Whether private, public, non-profit or 'corporate' facility, the care staffs are treated miserably. The issue of most concern is mandatory overtime - how good would you be in direct care in your 12th of 16 hours?


Don't go there.


There isn't a private nursing home in the county that is Union


I have worked in a nursing home and have had family members in this nursing home and I would not take my dog there! The care (or lack there of) that my family members received from the then admin. down to the aides was horrible!


Well oldsters, don't like this. Many of you never cared either when decent jobs left. Not very nice is it? This IS the world many 40 & under know. It is a struggle for us. Our future is all uphill probably.

Julie R.

Don't be so quick in thinking it's only oldsters that are in nursing homes. I know a young man of 40 that has been in one for quite awhile. A classic example of: Why do bad things happen to good people?


Way to go Admirals Pointe! Good job!


Re: "I'd be interested to see the difference in income of the patients as the come in."



Comparing patients in one rest home to patients in another rest home is like comparing students in one school to students in another school. In most cases its apples and oranges...... has more to do with the luck of the draw..........

Don't like a rest home don't put your family there, take care of them yourself and quiturbitchen........


Kimo, Well said. I remember one resident whose daughter would show up at 2-3 in the morning. She would actually undo her mothers diaper and smell down there to make sure her mother was cleaned well enough. Talk about going to extremes.

John Harville

Really @Heaven-leigh? Have you ever had a relative in a facility? Have you ever known anyone who laid in a wet diaper 3-8 hours? If you haven't walked those mocassins, don't give us your warhoop.






I have worked in healthcare for many years and have spent some time in both Erie County Care Facility and Ottawa County's Riverview Healthcare Campus. ECCF is a hellhole compared to OCRHC. And I'm not talking about the building either. A patient's socioeconomic status does factor into their health status, but a 17% rate of UTIs is horrendous and the blame belongs only to the nursing staff. As for the restraints, that is not a "mental health" issue; it is a nursing/staffing issue. OCRHC has a unit dedicated to dementia patients and their rate of restraint use is slim to none. There are other methods of keeping a confused or agitated patient safe; staff members at ECCF are obviously just not utilizing these methods.




These scores are misleading. These scores have A LOT to do with self-reporting and documentation. If a UTI, for example, isnt coded in MDS and surveyors don't find it-its like it never happened. MDS is how nursing homes get paid. Easier to get a better score if you aren't forthcoming with all of your information. I have worked in several of the area nursing homes and seen so much fraud and false documentation its ridiculous. I have also had experience with a family member as a Resident and can say I moved my loved one from one of the "better" rated homes to the county care facility and she received much better care at the county. Not all is as it appears. I have no affiliation with any nursing home anymore-but I wouldnt trust these scores to guide my decision on where to place a family member should the need arise again.

tdluvpit's picture

I knew a lady there for a short time who recently died. The staff knew the family was on the way to view her body. When they got there, her head was tilted back with mouth wide open from when she gasped her last breath. The facility couldn't pose her in a more peaceful manner for her family???


I thought restraints were against the law?

John Harville

Restraints are illegal except in severe prescribed situations and for specific lengths of time.


Folks, this is the kind of care you get from the only nursing home in the area with union contracts.

The Big Dog's back

Why the need to lie knucklehead?


No need to lie, BEHAPPY is incorrect. To confirm, I spoke with my cousin who is a nurse there, and she informed me that they are in fact unionized. Go back to sleep mutt, mommy will be there in a bit with your alpo.


Riverview Nursing Home in Ottawa Co. is union and as Nurse Ratchett above said, it is a great facility. Get over this nonsense KnuckleDragger--it has nothing what-so-ever to do with it. I don't care what anyone says- STNA's are way overworked and underpaid for the job they do. Unfortunately, since it's a predominantly female held position $9.00 an hour is all their seen fit to earn. Unlike the a county maintence worker who changes the occasional light bulb at $26.00 per hour.


That's not true. OVH is union. Lutheran Memorial is union. Not sure about others-but wouldnt surprise me