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.



They are NOT union at ECCF
Contracted out long ago


Don't worry~ "workers" are crapped on every day of the week anymore. Seems to be the way you people like to see the actual workers treated anymore. What a shame~without the workers~no need for anyone


Do we know for sure that the County nursing home is union? Is it really the only nursing home that is union in the area? I thought there were others that are union as well. Anyone know for sure?


I have no idea if ECCF is union or not, but I know OVH is.



John Harville

How these people are treated is how YOU will be treated if you end up in long-term care - or even if you are only there for short term for PT or med-therapy for days or weeks.

So.. if you don't wish to lie in a wet diaper eight hours, or have your meds left on your meal table while you sleep, or spend 23 hours a day in bed or wheelchair, or eat cold food in bed or in a crowded dining room, or see your doctor once a month because that's all the state requires - then you need to be concerned NOW! YOU can make it different. Drop in unexpected at any facility. If you have a relative - or even a friend - in a facility, you do NOT have to observe visiting hours as long as you are not disruptive or interfering with resident care. The facility is, in fact, HOME to the person staying there and they do NOT give up rights because they are in a facility.
Drop in when no one will expect you. I'll venture no staff member even will offer to assist you or notice you are there.




They are NOT, NOT, NOT union and so what if they were? Better paid help and more help...give better care where care is deserved!


If you look on the Ohio SERB website, you can find their contract with AFSCME.

It indicates it is valid through 10-31-2013.


I would like to hear some war stories out of John Harville. I bet he could tell you some bad ones as a certifide ombudsman. The reporter needs to take it a step further in this story and find out how many nursing homes are union in the area. How about the special feature reporter shadowing an ombudsmen when he is working? It would be interesting to know what all an ombudsmen does. I understand that the state is trying to get one ombudsmen assigned to each and every nursing facility in the area so each facility will have their own assigned ombudsmen and not have to share them with other facilities.

John Harville

Hmmmm - with no relationship to any of the homes anyone has mentioned here:
- patient in end-stage cancer in final hours: No morphine for her pain (which was intense) because it had run out (later discovered used for someone else) and facility hadn't reordered. Family couldn't take prescription to local pharmacy - had to come from the facility's pharmacy in Toledo on next routine drop. Patient died after four hours in intense pain.
- Patient woke up one morning to find her meds in cup on table...some were narcotics. Wasn't sure they were hers. Put on light for nurse who said, "honey, you were sleeping, so I just left them." NOTE: Nurse is to tell patient what each med is, what it treats, and side effects. Patient can refuse ANY med but nurse MUST chart patient refused AND tell patient about possible effects.
- patient asked to have water pill AFTER physical therapy so her therapy wouldn't be interrupted. Nurse told her she had to take it 'now' because nurse didn't have time to bring it later. Patient/resident doesn't forfeit rights since this now is HOME. We 'remedied' this quickly.
- patient with dementia was tied in wheelchair for patient's protection against falling out - which IS legal. She was place in the lounge in front of TV six hours. When I went in she had undressed right in front of nurse's station with two nursing staff right there. Another 'walked' wheelchair into other resident's rooms and 'fingered' their belongings. Nurse went to get the patient and scolded her (remember patient has dementia) instead of merely redirecting patient's attention.
= Encountered several - most - concerned aides and orderlies trying to care for 7 -15 residents. But many of the residents need to be helped to bed or lifted into bed. One orderly and one aide for 15-25 said residents with one nurse for three wings is extrmely ineffective care - and this was in a high-dollar elite facililty.
- an ombudsman in a facility with as many as 100 residents is vastly overcome - and greatly mistrusted and disliked by staff if he does his job.


Yo Pete

Thought you didn't know who Christine is.........


Still don't understand where you get that from, but hey, post what you want.

Like I told you before, the only Christine I knew was in High School. I do have a class reunion in 2014. If I go, and she is there, I will tell her you asked how she is doing.

And by the way, she spelled her name with a K.


Hint: You keep posting a link to her website......


Th only link I posted was to the SERB. So how does a Christine fall into that realm?




Spit it out. Come on. You know you want to!

And learn to use the "reply" feature would you?


They only contracted out the housekeeping a few years ago not the nursing.


Thank you John Harville for providing such a service to the elderly. I imagine being an ombudsman is an interesting volunteer job. Don't let the nursing homes bully you around because a lot of patients count on you. A lot of people don't know that the service even exist.


What difference does it make if a nursing facility is union or not? Long short of it is as I typed previously- it's that gals like heaven-leigh are few and far between. Grossly underpaid for the job that they are required to do. I knew of an STNA who had been kicked, punched, cursed-out you name it while doing her job all for a whopping $8.00 an hour. I sure as hell couldn't do that type of job, let alone for the pittance they are paid.


Thank you for your kind words. They truly meant so much. I tried to do the little things for them. Bringing them coffee in the morning or their favorite snack as a surprise. I had one resident who had a stroke at only 38 yrs.old. She could not move or speak except for her hands slightly. I knew she loved cats because she would make "cooing noises" when I would talk about them. There was a tiny black kitten hanging around outside..I snuck it under my scrub top and into her room, She actually raised her hand and pet that kittens' head over and over and kept making those "cooing " noises. I will never forget that. She was happy if only for those few minutes. Moved her hand! So touching.


FYI pete

serb website is not accurate, needs to be updated......


This validates much about America. Some have enjoyed a much better econonmy. Most have known so many econmic struggles. Imo. it will continue to get worse unless as America, our standard of living comes back..though I doubt it. Most in America think of self only. And we wonder why.