Florida’s long term health care industry is touting new rankings that show significant improvement in the overall quality of care at long term care centers in the state. The centers credit the improvement on a boost in funding for the centers from the Florida Legislature.

The new Quality Care Report issued by the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) shows that Florida’s long-term care facilities ranked 7th overall among states in 2018, That’s up from the 16th place ranking it received in the 2014 report, which is based on federal data on a wide range of standard quality measurements.

FHCA says Florida is consistently among the strongest performers in terms of both current quality measures and gains made over the last several years.

“Florida’s long term care centers are extraordinarily dedicated to providing the best care possible for our residents, and the Legislature has been an outstanding partner by providing resources to make these improvements possible,” said FHCA Executive Director Emmett Reed. “It’s clear that resources dedicated to quality care means money well spent, not just for those we serve but also for the professionals who devote their lives to our residents.”

FHCA represents almost 1,000 members and over 500 long term care centers across Florida.

The long term care facilities in Florida were ranked first  in the nation in setting requirements for staffing hours, and is first among the nation’s ten most populous states in overall nurse staffing rates. Both these measures translate directly into care and attention provided to residents of long term care centers.

The report shows Florida centers averaged a 3.8-star rating out of 5 stars, ranking the state’s long term care centers above the national average of 3.4 stars.

“We’re gratified to see this visible proof of outstanding quality of care provided by Florida’s long term care profession and the progress over the last several years,” Reed said. “Funding and quality improvements go hand in hand, and we appreciate the support of the Legislature for recognizing that in recent years. We ask for their continued support by extending the 2018 Medicaid funding increase – to advance the hard work, commitment, and compassion of the outstanding men and women who care for our residents on a daily basis.”

Florida ranks among the top ten states in several staffing-related measures, including minimum staffing hours set by the state (1st), total nurse staffing (9th), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) staffing (8th), and minimum CNA training and clinical hours (7th).

The Quality Care Report compiles statewide and national data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as well as from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.