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Selecting the Best Nursing Home for Your Needs

There are many independent services that provide reviews and ratings for various nursing homes across the state, but official rankings are made available by the government. Medicare provides each facility with a rating out of 5 stars based on health inspections, quality measures and staffing.

Health Inspections

The ratings take into account all health inspections for the last three years (with more consideration being given to the more recent inspections). Any inspections that were the result of complaints in the last three years are also taken into account. The two factors used when reviewing health inspections are the scope and severity of any issues. How long it took the facility to correct these issues and how many times the issue needed to be reinspected are also factored in.

Quality Measures

Quality Measures (QMs) are assessed for both short-term and long-term stays. QMs for short stays are assessed based on the percentage of residents who either receive sores during their stays or whose sores become worse while they are at the facility. The percentage of residents who report pain during short stays is also taken into account. When assessing QMs for long stays, many additional factors are considered such as the percentage of residents who have been restrained physically, who have received a major injury do to falling, who have been cathed without the catheter being removed, or who have received a urinary tract infection. The percentage of residents who have an increased need for assistance with daily tasks is also analyzed to assess this rating.

Staffing

The staffing ratings take into account how many hours there is an RN (registered nurse) working per resident per day as well as how many hours total staff are working per resident per day. Total staff comprises all nurses (both RNs and LPNs) as well as CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants). The official ratings provide you with a chart with this information broken out daily for each facility. Administrative, clerical or housekeeping staff are not taken into account to arrive at the staffing rating. A high correlation has been found between the staff-per-resident rate and the quality of the nursing home facility.

Comparing for Yourself

Via medicare.gov you will be able to compare nursing home facilities for yourself based on these above criteria as well as location and for-profit/nonprofit status. You will also be able to see if the facility has received any fines in the last three years.

One thing to keep in mind while choosing a nursing home is that even though a nursing home may receive a guaranteed lower mortgage rate from the government, this does not necessarily mean that the nursing home as a high government rating or a high independent rating for that matter. Many nursing home facilities that have paid fines to the government in the past are still the same facilities that receive government-backed financial support.

Regardless of the facility’s rating, if you or a loved one has suffered from the negligence of a nursing home facility, please feel free to reach out to an experienced attorney at Levin & Perconti today.

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