A half dozen Hawaii care centers have made the list of worst performing nursing homes in the state. 
   The federal government recently released a list of facilities with a documented pattern of poor care, which is why six Hawaii nursing homes are now getting extra scrutiny.  
    Many of Hawaii's aging population are being cared for at dozens of nursing facilities around the state.
   Each is regularly inspected by the Department of Health, but the news is not always good.

Hawaii nursing homes average 8 citations per inspection.
Those may include anything from improperly planning the discharge of a patient, not reviewing an individual's monthly medications, to more serious concerns like:
not providing healthy meals or not protecting residents from physical or sexual abuse.

Top facilities have fewer citations, while the worst performing ones can have higher numbers of deficiencies or more harmful violations.

Each state's worst performing facility is put in a Special Focus Facility program that requires additional oversight, and comes with the threat of losing medicaid payments if it doesn't improve.

Hawaii's SFF remains Legacy Hilo Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
It has had numerous complaints against it, and fined more than $200,000 dollars over the past three years, but has also periodically seen some improvements.

"We were facing potential closure, an end to admissions, and no billing for the care we provided here but fortunately we didn't," said Legacy Administrator Johnalyn Nosaka back in 2017.

It has been Hawaii's Special Focus Facility for the past 2 years, even though centers usually only stay in the program 12-18 months.
During Legacy's last inspection in February, the number of deficiencies more than doubled from a previous inspection.

3 Hawaii facilities saw improvements during their recent reports, but remain on the federal watch list as potential SFF candidates. They are Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, Kuakini Geriatric Care Inc., and Kulana Malama which issued this statement:

"Our last report resulted in an overall positive evaluation. We know there is always room for improvement and continue to work on initiatives to ensure we deliver positive health outcomes for our adult and children residents."

Two others including Wahiawa General and Kohala Hospital received even worse marks during their recent inspection for their nursing home care.

Some may feel the reporting of this data unfairly highlights under-performing nursing facilities, but it gives residents another tool to measure where their loved ones should or should not go.

"This needs to be looked at closely. This is a public safety issue, a health care issue and more importantly it can be life or death issue," said Rep. John Mizuno, the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.

The federal ranking doesn't cover all aspects of a nursing home.
One of the potential SFF facilities, Kuakini Geriatric Care Inc. told KITV, it as high scores for quality and staffing, and feels the federal score is not an accurate depiction of its entire services. 

          All of this information should be used when comparing care homes for loved ones.