When you are looking for a nursing home bed for Mom, Dad, or another loved one, it can be difficult—to say the least—to figure out which place will provide the best and most compassionate care. Is it the nursing home that costs the most? The one with the swankiest lobby? The one that doesn’t have a lot of unpleasant odors? The one where the caregivers smile at you the most?

If you have hard data available and do your homework, it can be easier to choose a nursing home. We have provided data and sources for you here that we hope will be of use.

The ProPublica Results

ProPublica has assembled a massive database, with links to Medicare reports, which can help you determine the nursing home in the greater Columbia, SC, area that would best meet your needs. First, the ranking system used needs to be explained. It ranges from L to A, from worst to least hazardous. The number of deficiencies, or violations, is noted in parentheses. Not all ranking levels are defined because not all levels showed up in ratings of nursing homes in our area:

  • L level: Immediate danger to a resident’s health or safety, with widespread deficiencies. (0 in Columbia)
  • K level: There is immediate hazard to a resident’s health or safety, and deficiencies (violations) are considered part of a pattern. (3 in Columbia)
  • J level: There is immediate hazard to a resident’s health or safety, and deficiencies (violations) are considered isolated. (15 in Columbia)
  • I level and H level: (0 in Columbia)
  • G level: Actual harm was done but it doesn’t mean an immediate hazard to a resident’s health or safety, and deficiencies (violations) are considered isolated. (13 in Columbia)
  • F level: No actual harm was done but a potential exists for more than minimal harm, creating a hazard to a resident’s health or safety, and deficiencies (violations) are considered widespread. (22 in Columbia)
  • E level: No actual harm was done. A potential exists for more than minimal harm but it does not create an immediate hazard to a resident’s health or safety. Deficiencies (violations) are considered a developing pattern. (99 in Columbia)
  • D level: No actual harm was done. A potential exists for more than minimal harm but it does not create an immediate hazard to a resident’s health or safety. Deficiencies (violations) are considered isolated. (205 in Columbia)
  • C level: No actual harm was done. A potential exists for minimal harm. Deficiencies (violations) are widespread. (12 in Columbia)
  • B level and A level: (0 in Columbia).

Columbia Area Violators: K-Level

The only violator at this level was the Agape Nursing & Rehab Center in West Columbia. In May, 2015, three deficiencies were reported at the K level. There were multiple citings regarding medication errors, including storing expired and unexpired medications together, a lack of appropriate temperature controls for medications, and other drug control and storage violations. Some residents received expired insulin. $91K fine. This location also had three J-level deficiencies in 2012; no details are available.

Columbia Area Violators: J-Level

There were three recent J-level violators, other than Agape in 2012, as mentioned above:

  • Wildewood Downs Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Columbia. April, 2016; $205K fine. This location did not: record a resident’s choice to be a “full code” (all livesaving measures performed); answer the question why a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order was acquired for one resident; make sure that resuscitation was initiated for some residents; provide opportunities to create an Advance Directive for end-of-life decisions. Also, CPR was not initiated when it was called for. There were numerous other serious violations.
  • C M Tucker Nursing Care Center—Roddey, Columbia. March, 2015; $183K fine. This location failed to provide adequate supervision of residents. Some residents were found alone and unresponsive with food in their mouths. One died of asphyxiation and one was reviewed for choking. There was immediate jeopardy to the residents and substandard care of them. The location also did not protect residents from abuse, punishment, and deliberately being isolated from others.
  • Life Care Center of Columbia. February, 2015; $66K fine. The location failed to care properly for residents who needed services such as prostheses, respiratory care, foot care, tracheal suctioning, injections, and ileostomy, colostomy, ureostomy, and tracheostomy care. They also did not make sure that areas were free from accident hazards, nor provide supervision to prevent accidents that were avoidable. Some deficiency report text was not available.

Columbia Area Violators: G-Level

There was one recent G-level violator, Pruitthealth-Blythewood of Columbia. Note that it is #6 on the top ten list of best locations (listed below). While no fines were incurred as a result of the November, 2014, report, there was a substantiated physical and verbal abuse allegation involving a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). Also, one CNA was reviewed for allegations of misappropriation of a resident’s property. The facility did not put written policies and procedures in place regarding prohibiting misappropriation of a resident’s property.

The Top Ten Best Nursing Homes in the Columbia Area

U.S. News and World Report has assembled a list of the best nursing homes in the Columbia, SC, area. Their top ten list follows. Recent deficiency ratings are noted and arise from cross-checking the ProPublica database. None of these facilities were fined.

  1. NHC Healthcare—Parklane in Columbia, top rated (0 deficiencies).
  2. NHC Healthcare—Lexington in West Columbia. D and E level deficiencies.
  3. Rice Nursing Home Columbia 2016. D, E, and F level deficiencies.
  4. Heartland of Columbia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Columbia. Numerous D level deficiencies, some E and F.
  5. The Heritage at Lowman Rehabilitation and Healthcare in White Rock, SC. Mostly D level, one C, one E.
  6. Pruitthealth-Blythewood in Columbia, SC. One G level, numerous D to F levels.
  7. Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community in West Columbia, SC. C to F levels.
  8. Pruitthealth-Columbia in Columbia. C to F levels, numerous E and F.
  9. BMC Subacute Rehabilitation Center in Columbia. D to F levels.
  10. Brian Center Nursing Care—St. Andrews in Columbia. Mostly D, two E levels.

You can read more about the methodology used to rank the nursing homes in this research.

Help When Seeking a Good Nursing Home

Unfortunately, in some cases, you get what you pay for. If your funds are limited, or if you are restricted to looking at Medicaid-only homes, it could be wise to review the research links we have listed above. Use your own common sense as well. If something seems off to you, especially if no one will answer questions to your satisfaction, consider not using the facility and perform further research to find another place.

Medicare has a booklet on how to choose a nursing home or long-term care facility. You can also review and compare nursing homes on the Medicare site.

Always listen to your loved one if they claim they have experienced abuse of any kind or any other negative or hurtful situation.

Seeking Truth, Securing Justice for Seniors

When someone you love has been hurt, it can feel like nothing will ever be right or fair again. When this happens, the South Carolina nursing home injury lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm can review your legal options and work with you to determine the most appropriate next step.

Many South Carolina assisted living facilities are part of a larger chain, complete with its own legal department. The nursing home’s lawyers may try to dispute abuse and neglect claims, but we have represented victims of neglect or abuse in retirement homes and we understand how to deal with negligent facilities and the nursing home attorneys who represent them. While a lawsuit cannot heal bedsores or restore someone’s health, a South Carolina nursing home abuse claim can help recover the large sums spent on a neglectful or abusive nursing home, as well as medical bills created by that abuse or neglect. You may also be able to hold the abusers accountable for the pain and suffering they caused.

For a free consultation, call our Columbia nursing home injury attorneys today at 1-803-454-1200, or use our online contact form.