The report card is out and things don’t look very good for nursing homes in Western Virginia. A new national study finds that such problems are not uncommon. Inspectors cited 94 percent of nursing homes last year for federal health and safety standards, the Department of Health and Human Services reported this week.

Sadly, the number of violations reported in Roanoke-area nursing homes was higher than the national average in 13 out of 31 facilities. For example, Avante at Roanoke, a 130-bed facility in the Old Southwest neighborhood, had the most violations, with 28 health-inspection infractions and six fire and safety deficiencies. Average daily certified nursing assistant time per patient at Avante was one hour, 40 minutes — less than the region’s top performer by 70 minutes. The 180-bed Virginia Veterans Care Center had 26 health and three fire and safety violations.

Read reporter Beth Macy’s recent article in the Roanoke Times on the sad state of nursing homes.

My take: Poor care will continue to be the norm in Virginia’s nursing homes until the General Assembly passes minimum staffing requirements. Presently, to reduce costs and increase profits, many nursing homes are operating without a sufficient number of nurses to care for its residents.

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.