CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 Investigates took a deeper look at two nursing homes in Northeast Ohio with some of the most COVID-19 cases in the state.
O’Neill Healthcare’s Lorain County location has had 71 residents and 34 staff members diagnosed with COVID-19 over two weeks, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
You can see the numbers for yourself here.
Lorain County nursing home has most cases of confirmed COVID-19
O’Neill’s North Ridgeville facility is rated five stars by Medicare’s “Nursing Home Compare.”
That is the best possible rating a nursing home can get.
Advocates point out COVID-19 cases have hit nursing homes of every kind, and just because they have a lot of cases doesn’t mean residents aren’t getting high-quality care.
276 Ohio nursing home residents died of COVID-19 in 14 days, according to the latest numbers from the Ohio Department of Health.
There have been just under 3,000 confirmed cases in residents and staff during that time period.
O’Neill Healthcare in North Ridgeville is family-owned and operates five facilities in Cleveland and its west side suburbs.
According to Medicare, they had no complaint inspections in the last year.
They also got a five-star rating for both fire safety inspections and quality of resident care.
They got a four-star rating on health inspections, according to Medicare.gov.
We found the facility was inspected just over a year ago, and had four health citations.
The average in Ohio is 8.8 citations.
The level of harm on these citations was designated as "minimal."
19 Investigates found O’Neill got lower marks for staffing, with two out of five stars, which is below average.
Medicare reports they have 122 residents per day, and the average residents in Ohio is 75.
We reached out to O'Neill Healthcare and they sent us a statement you can see attached to this story.
They said in their statement they test 100 percent of their residents, which results in a larger number of positive cases than other facilities have reported. They also said 60 percent of their positive cases were asymptomatic.
Cuyahoga County nursing home addresses cases
A Cleveland nursing home had the third-largest number of COVID-19 cases in Northeast Ohio.
Westpark Neurology and Rehab Center had 57 resident cases and 14 cases in staff members over two weeks.
We found Westpark Neurology and Rehab Center has a one star rating from Medicare, its lowest rating.
But its CEO and owner Eli Coury told 19 News there's more to that rating, and they've taken multiple steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Seven residents at the facility have died from COVID-19 and four were in hospice care, Coury said.
He was one of the staff members who came down with the virus.
“The tough part for this, and I think it is for every nursing home that has an outbreak, is it's very difficult to-- we're not talking about moving furniture, we're talking about moving patients,” Coury told 19 News over the phone.
He told us they set up three isolation wings and brought in 10,000 PPE masks.
He said they banned visitors in early March and recently hired an infectious disease doctor.
Coury said 20 residents have recovered.
“The challenge with nursing homes is you have groups of individuals that are highly vulnerable and you have essential workers that go to and from the building every day,” he said.
He has another facility in Lakewood with no cases of COVID-19.
“I can't explain it, I can't explain why. We're following all the same procedures,” Coury said.
19 Investigates discovered Westpark has had nine complaints in the past three years resulting in citations, according to documents posted on Medicare.gov.
They got a two out of five star rating on health inspections and a one star rating on staffing.
“The last survey that we had, we had three deficiencies which is well below the state average of 12 deficiencies. So if they just based it off the star rating on last year's survey, we would be a five-star facility. But they do it over a three year period,” Coury said.
19 Investigates found in April of last year, they experienced a resident walk-away. The inspection found Westpark "failed to properly discharge" that resident.
“We have behavioral residents here, and we recovered the person that eloped within an hour, but it was still like 150 points against us which put us in what I call ‘five star hell’ for three years,” Coury said.
He pointed out that COVID-19 affects five-star and one-star nursing homes alike..
“I say come to the nursing home, talk to the people in the nursing home, that's what I tell people,” he said. “Before you go into a one star and a five star and tell me the difference.”
Coury said they hired some nurses who had recently been laid off to make sure they are properly staffed during this pandemic.
He said families can do video chats with their loved ones and when there's a change in condition, they will get a call.
The Ohio Department of Health will release its latest numbers of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes on Wednesday.
Stay with 19 News for a breakdown of where those cases are in northeast Ohio.