WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A study says one fourth of Kansas' 300 nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities are categorized as “problem facilities” due to substandard care issues. 

This is according to the Long-Term Care Community Coalition’s latest summary of it’s research based on the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ five star quality rating system. 

This study was conducted over a three year period. Advocates say, based on this data, some big changes are necessary for many of Kansas’ nursing homes. 

There are 306 nursing homes in Kansas. Seventy-seven of those facilities were recently named “problem facilities” due to substandard care in a new study. That study uses inspection reports, staffing levels and other quality measures.

“What we’re paying for as Kansas taxpayers is for poor care for older adults in facilities,” said Dan Goodman, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care. 

Goodman says each Medicaid bed in a nursing home costs Kansans $108,000 each and every year.

“For $108,000 a year the Kansas tax payer should expect more,” said Goodman. 

He says this makes it even more frustrating knowing the persistent poor care the elderly is often receiving in these costly facilities. Advocacy groups say substandard care can be defined as persistent poor care usually caused by lack of staffing. This often leads to neglect, overmedicating, and worse health outcomes for residents.

Of the 77 problematic facilities in Kansas, 58 of those are for-profit establishments. These are usually even more expensive than non-profit facilities. 

“You may think, well they’re a for profit facility. You may pay a little more, but you’re probably going to get a little more for a for-profit facility. Well according to this new report that’s not true,” explained Goodman. 

A lack of staffing is often a root cause for neglect that happens in the nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities. Advocates say paying caregivers and nurses a fair wage would help staff retention. 

“I think the biggest issue is accountability. We don’t even know what we want to hold these nursing homes accountable for,” said Janet Williams, executive director of Mind’s Matter. 

Advocates say if Kansas invested more in community based services, fewer people would end up in nursing homes. 

“Many of the folks that are in these facilities could be at home with community based services if they were readily accessible,” said Goodman. 

If you’re looking for a quality nursing home, advocates suggest going to tour a facility unannounced. 

“Start posting on social media. What do you know about this nursing home? People are gonna talk, they’re gonna tell you…And always, always, always insist on three names of people who are either there or have been there,” said Williams. 

The researchers found the rehab and nursing homes in Kansas with the most fines include Meridian Rehab in Wichita, Overland Park Center for Rehab, Lakepoint in Wichita, Topeka Center for Rehab and Kenwood View for Rehab in Salina.