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NeglectPhysical Abuse

Hundreds of nursing homes have low ratings

By July 12, 2012 No Comments

U.S. Politics Today just ran a U.S.A. Today story on the state of national nursing homes, and it’s not pretty.

The story maintains that over 600 of the nation’s nursing homes have low ratings due to dirty equipment, unsuitable living areas, unlicensed employees and a myriad of other issues.

Here is an in-depth look at the government ratings system from U.S. Politics Today:

How Are the Ratings Calculated?

The ratings system is based on three things:

– Health inspections

– Staffing levels

– Quality measures

Health inspection results are obtained by a “trained team of objective surveyors who visit each nursing home to check on the quality of care, inspect medical records and talk with residents about” the care they receive. This inspection is completed by state officials who are overseen by federal regulators. As a result, ratings may vary from state to state; because of this fluctuation, it is most helpful to compare facilities within the same state to maintain consistency and ensure objectivity.

The second tool used to determine the facility’s rating is a staffing level evaluation. This is calculated by comparing the ratio of residents to staff on site. This determination also takes into consideration what percentage of the staff is licensed according to the standards set forth by each state’s licensing board.

Quality measures, the final tool used in the rating determination, examine how a nursing home performs on ten specific aspects of care. It reviews both clinical and physical measures and can include how well nursing staff help residents self-feed, encourage personal hygiene and prevent and treat skin ulcers. This information is provided by individual nursing homes.

Using these three tools, the federal government rates various nursing home facilities on a scale ranging from one to five stars. The ratings are updated monthly, but the three data sources are reported on different schedules. For example, the inspections are generally conducted on an annual basis while the quality measures are often provided quarterly.

The biggest problem is that homes continue to score poorly, even after receiving one-star ratings in years past. Exactly 564 homes have scored a one-star rating in every reporting period since 2008.

Take action if a loved one has been abused or neglected at a care facility.  For a free initial consultation, contact the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm online or toll free at (877) 552-2873 today.