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New Nursing Home Ratings Available

February 22nd, 2011

How does your loved one’s nursing home measure up?  The latest 5-star ratings are now available.

The government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have the latest nursing home ratings available on its website… the same ratings soon to be published by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

The Five-Star Quality Rating System was created to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily, and help identify areas about which you may want to ask questions. Nursing home ratings are taken from three sources of data:

  • Health Inspections. Onsite visits by a team of trained inspectors who check on the quality of care, inspect medical records, and talk with residents about their care. Inspectors also make sure that the nursing home meets federal quality processes.
  • Staffing. This rating looks at the overall number of staff compared to the number of residents…as well as how many of the staff are trained nurses.
  • Quality Measures. This measure rates how well a nursing home performs on 10 important aspects of care, such as how well the nursing home prevents and treats skin ulcers, and how well residents are helped in eating and dressing. While this sounds like a valuable measure, the data for Quality Measures are self-reported by the nursing home staff. This makes it the least objective measure, and the most likely to be inappropriately high.

Each of these areas is individually rated, and then these three ratings are combined to calculate an Overall Rating.

To search for and compare nursing homes, click here: Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare. In addition to the 5-star ratings, you’ll also find information about specific areas of deficiencies (if noted) and whether the nursing home is a “Special Focus Facility.”  Special Focus Facilities (SFF) are nursing homes that have a history of persistent poor quality of care. Because of their deficiencies, these nursing homes have been selected for more frequent inspections and monitoring. On Medicare.gov, Special Focus Facilities are marked with this logo:    This is one time when being “special” is NOT a good thing.

For more information about choosing a nursing home, visit our website at https://www.lawmed.com/. And if you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, call us to find out how to keep your loved one safe and discover what your legal options are. Someone is always available at 1-800-4LAW-MED.