Raising the grade at Ontario Center nursing home

The Ontario Center nursing home doesn’t look too good on paper. The overall rating at Medicare.gov gives the 98-bed facility a dismal one star out of five.

But the facility at 3063 County Complex Drive in Hopewell is undergoing a major building upgrade, has boosted staffing, and points to other areas where it is making improvement.

This week, Ontario Center Administrator Yudi Polatoff took the Messenger on a tour of the center for rehabilitation and healthcare and showed changes underway to bring the facility up to speed. In renovations expected to wrap up this year, the center will have a modern, spacious lobby and reception area and renovated therapy and rehabilitation suite. All the resident rooms will be upgraded — some already are — and the three-story facility at the Ontario County complex will sport new dining room, recreation areas and offices.

Polatoff showed features still existing in the building that was constructed in 1975, features that are virtually unheard of today. For example, resident bathrooms without doors — the bathrooms situated right inside the main hallway and with only a shower curtain to pull shut for privacy.

Ontario County once owned and operated the nursing home and then six years ago sold it to a private company. The current owner is Bronx-based Centers Health Care, which took over in 2014.

Jeffrey Jacomowitz, with Centers Health Care public relations, pointed to specific improvements that will lead to a higher overall rating — for example, a recent drop in the re-hospitalization rate. That gives the percentage of people who returned to the hospital after their stay at the facility. A year ago, the rate was at the national average of nearly 18 percent and has since dropped to 12.5 percent, according to Medicare.

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