Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nursing Home Ratings Over Time

Many businesses and professional services may receive ratings by clients, other businesspeople, or the state.  Nursing homes also receive ratings from the government, and range on scale of 1 to 5 stars.  A nursing home receives its rating based on a variety of factors, such as cleanliness and staff attention to patients.  A recent article showed that nursing homes, especially ones on the lower end of the government rating scales, may not improve much over time.

An article by USA Today focused on the rating system within nursing homes and how they have improved over a period of three years.  According to the writer, "More than 560 of the nation's nursing homes have not budged for the past three years from a one-star federal government rating — the lowest on a five-star scale — even as most homes improved, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal data."  Nursing homes are rated in each state relative to other nursing homes.  With this in mind, a one-star nursing home in Pennsylvania is relative to other nursing homes in Pennsylvania, not all nursing homes across the country.  The good news is that many high-star nursing homes did improve and the number of 4 and 5 star rated homes increased markedly over time.  It appears that low-performing homes continue to perform below standard, while higher-level homes work to improve.

This new government rating system will be helpful in allowing nursing homes to realize how to care for and better serve their patients. With this in mind, nursing homes may be able to modify their practices and staffing procedures to decrease their incidents of negligence, abuse, and under/inefficient staffing.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence.  For more information on his practice, please visit our website.

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