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Nursing Home Rankings Best 10

Rankings of nursing home quality will always have subjective elements. Minimally, The United States government collects objective, empirical data about nursing homes that accept Medicare patients, which includes a majority of those facilities in the United States, and rating agencies use that data to assess nursing home quality with a minimum of subjectivity.

Moreover, popular news media source US News and World Reports has summarized this retained Medicare recipient data to assess the highest-quality nursing homes in each state based on health inspections, nurse staffing, and other quality measures.

Specific ratings in each of these categories are broken out from an overall rating to enable individuals to find the best facility that suits their needs and desires

Medicare’s “Nursing Home Compare” assigns ratings of one through five stars to each of the more than 16,000 elder care facilities that are included in its database. The overall rating starts with data on health inspections.  If a facility has a nurse staffing rating of four or five stars, the overall rating will improve by one star. Conversely, if the facility has only a one-star nurse staffing rating, its overall rating decreases by one star.  Likewise, one star is added to the overall ranking if the other quality measures have a five-star rating, and one star is subtracted if quality has only a one-star rating. The quality measure is determined by combining eleven different quality data points on elements such as pain management, and nutrition and weight control.

  • California the largest number of five-star ranked facilities in the national rankings. The rankings themselves do not indicate which is the best overall facility but only depict each facility’s total rankings. In California, for example, more than 1,200 elder care facilities are listed. More than 400 of those facilities (i.e. more than one-third of the total) were given overall five-star rankings. This does not suggest that all 400 of those facilities provide the same level or quality of care. Rather, it only indicates that those 400 facilities provide an overall higher or more comprehensive level of care than facilities that were given four-star or lower rankings.
  • These rankings also exclude the lesser number of elder care facilities that are entirely private and that do not accept Medicare funding. Information on those facilities from data maintained by individual states.
  • Perhaps the most telling aspect of the 2015 rankings is that the total number of five-star ranked elder care facilities dropped by more than three per cent. In 2014, 24.9% of all facilities rated had five-star rankings. That number dropped to 21.7% in 2015. This decrease may be the result of changes in the quality measures that are reviewed.
  • The 2015 rankings include consideration of uses of antipsychotic medications, increased the total number of quality points required for a facility to receive both a two-star quality measure ranking and a four-star nursing staff ranking. The standards therefore increased from 2014 to 2015, causing the reduction in the percentage of facilities that received an overall five-star ranking.

Be Wary of the Limitations of Relying upon National Rankings List of Nursing Home Facilities

Elder care facility rankings, like those published by Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare and summarized by US News and World Reports, can be a double-edged sword. Families that are looking for the best facility for their elderly loved ones can take some comfort when they select a higher-ranked facility. Those rankings will generalize a larger pool of specific data to present a average or typical picture of a facility. The rankings include no footnotes or other warnings about specific and possibly egregious problems with a particular facility, nor do they show whether a facility has improved or declined from year-to-year.

Attorneys that focus their practices on elder care issues can often provide more information and critical details about individual elder care facilities. Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare rankings will not, for example, include specific factual references about any lawsuits that have been filed against a particular facility or its staff members.

An elder care attorney will have access to that information through one or more databases which track lawsuits and that report the names of parties in lawsuits and the nature of the underlying claims and complaint. Elder care attorneys are filling an expanding role as consultants to elderly clients and their families to understand and select the best facility for an elderly person. Concerned families will often consult with these attorneys when they are making their decisions. Generalized rankings are a good starting point for a family’s research into elder care facilities, but they are not a guarantee of the nature or quality of the care that an elderly person will receive at a facility.

 

 

References:

 

http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/senior-housing/guide-to-nursing-homes.htm

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/About/What-Is-NHC.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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