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Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center in Lewistown rating

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January 31, 2017

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391


Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center in Lewistown receives highest rating from U.S. News and World Report


For the second consecutive year, the Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center in Lewistown has achieved the highest rating possible from the annual U. S. News and World Report Best Nursing Homes for 2016-17.

Through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Five-Star Quality Rating System, the Nursing Care Center earned the highest 5-star mark. 

Nursing Care Center administrator Dianne Scotten is quick to credit her staff for this accomplishment.

“It really takes lot of teamwork to earn a 5-star ranking,” Scotten said. “All of our employees are extremely dedicated to delivering high quality care to our patients in a safe environment to meet our resident’s physical and emotional needs. This recognition shows that we are consistently performing at a high level.”

U.S. News used data provided by CMS to evaluate over 15,000 homes over a 12 month time period. Only 10 percent of nursing homes in Montana and 13 percent in the nation were awarded the U.S. News Best Nursing Home designation. To qualify, facilities must earn an overall rating of 4.5 stars and above.

Comprehensive information looking at health inspections, staffing and various medical quality measures are used to determine the ratings. http://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/2016-11-16/faq-how-we-rate-nursing-homes

Health inspections include safe food preparation, medication management, and residents’ rights. Staffing includes how many minutes of nursing care patients receive daily, based on data reported to CMS. One example of the 24 medical quality measures is how the facility works with patients to prevent patient falls that can cause injury.

The Nursing Care Center is a Medicaid-licensed residential facility for long-term placement and treatment of persons who have a mental disorder and who require a level of care not available in the community; and have been turned down by other nursing homes or community placements. These persons have been determined a danger to self and others; require long-term care; and cannot benefit from the intensive psychiatric treatment available at the Montana State Hospital. 

It is administered by the Addictive and Mental Disorders Division of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The current census is 92 patients.

Scotten said over 70 percent of the Nursing Care Center residents are over age 65 and all have a mental health diagnosis. The facility, licensed for 117 beds, employs 135 FTE (full time equivalent) employees.

She said the facility’s designation is unique because it is certified as both a mental health and a long term care facility. Scotten said this distinction requires nursing staff with a special skill set and requires numerous ongoing training. All facility staff receive annually 16 hours of Mandt system training, which focuses on how to deal with behaviors using the least restrictive methods. The facility has on staff a certified Mandt instructor. 

“It’s really about how to talk and de-escalate people by communicating with them,” she added. “We are always working to improve on our core values, which is teamwork and respecting everyone, and understanding and listening to our residents.”

Staff also receive mandatory abuse prevention training and are trained in treating dementia patients. Experts from other state agencies are also brought in regularly for additional training.

Scotten said the average length of stay at the facility is just over two years. When patients first arrive, the priority is stabilization. And, when appropriate, efforts are then made to move the patients into the least restrictive facility. “That’s always our mission and goal,” Scotten said. “Our social workers are very busy trying to find least restrictive facilities for our patients. It’s our goal to get them closer to home to family and friends. One of the most rewarding parts of the working here is the satisfaction we all gain from working with the residents here on a daily basis.”

Admissions are received from the Montana State Hospital, and/or through community referrals. In FY 2016, 69 percent of the admissions came from the MSH; 8 percent from Yellowstone county; 10 percent from Fergus County;  2 percent from Jefferson County; 3 percent from Dawson County; 5 percent from Lewis & Clark County.