Nursing Home Rating System Reveals Inferior Care Provided At For-Profit Facilities

Nursing Home Rating SystemUp and running.  Today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) revealed its much anticipated website that provides nursing home ratings on a starred system–similar to restaurant and hotels.  The website actually provides three type of ratings for nursing homes throughout the country–based on overall quality, staffing and health inspections, plus and overall score.  Each section is scored on a scale of 1 to 5.

In assigning each rating, CMS has evaluated tens of thousands of inspection reports, complaints, staffing level surveys, frequency of bedsores and use of physical restraints before assigning a star-ranking to the individual facility.

A review of the nursing home ratings by USA Today confirmed what many in the nursing home industry have been claiming for years– for-profit nursing homes are more likely to provide inferior care than their non-profit counterparts. The USA Today analysis revealed:

  • 27% of the USA’s 10,542 for-profit homes were one-star, compared with 13% of 4,182 non-profits.
  • 19% of non-profit facilities got five stars compared with 9% of for-profits.
  • Most non-profit nursing homes are owned by corporations.  20% of non-profit nursing homes are owned by faith-based groups

The most likely use of the new nursing home rating system is help prospective nursing home residents in their search for a new facility.  After quickly eliminating poorly performing facilities, a more thorough assessment can be done with respect to looking a detailed reports and conducting a visit to the facility.

Perhaps the most important part of the new rating system is that it calls out bad nursing homes.  No longer can poorly run facilities live under the radar.  Assigning a star rating to each facility puts the spotlight of under-performing facilities.  I imagine, the poorly scored facilities will begin to see a declining number of residents until they the necessary steps to improve patient care.

The chart below is appeared in the USA Today article on nursing home ratings. It is interesting to see where the poorly performing facilities are located…

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