Nursing Home Rankings Should Be Taken Seriously by Prospective Residents

With the advent of the internet, it has become easier than ever to review our experiences with the various companies and institutions we do business with on a day-to-day basis. In fact, some suggest that the higher prevalence of peer reviews in an industry, the better the overall quality across the industry, since business owners know they will likely be held accountable by their unsatisfied customers. Nursing homes, apparently, are no exception.

The federal government has been ranking nursing homes for years. However, despite the availability of the information, many people fail to check nursing-home rankings before checking in, or sending a loved one to stay there. A recent article by Newsweek explains that nursing home rankings may be a fairly accurate way of assessing the level of care provided at a facility.

The Star System

The federal government’s “star system” is the method used to rank all nursing homes across the country. There are four categories, and each is rated from one to five stars. The categories are:

  • Health inspections,
  • Staffing,
  • Quality measures, and
  • Overall ranking.

Low Rankings Are Common

According to the recent Newsweek article, one- and two-star ratings are exceedingly common among nursing homes. In fact, in some states such as Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas, over 40% of all the nursing homes in the state are rated at just one or two stars. In Maryland, the situation is slightly better, with just 36% of homes being rated at below two stars. Still, that is over one-third of the State’s nursing homes.

What Does It Mean?

Rankings seem to be fairly accurate, according to the Newsweek article. It isn’t that every one- or two-star nursing home will provide sub-standard care, but such care is more common in the lower-ranked homes. In fact, the article points out that in one nursing home a resident’s family repeatedly requested that a broken window sill be replaced to no avail. A few weeks later they were notified that a swarm of fire ants had crawled into their loved one’s room, covered her body, and repeatedly bit her for an unknown period of time. This incident, the family claimed in a subsequent lawsuit, led to the deterioration of their loved one’s condition, ultimately contributing to her early death.

Is Your Loved One in a Questionable Nursing Home?

If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you wonder about the quality of care they are receiving, speak with your loved one or others in the home to determine if the living conditions are acceptable. If they are not, or if there are reports of abuse or willful neglect, you or your loved one may be entitled to monetary compensation through a nursing home negligence lawsuit. Keep in mind, of course, that in order to recover in a Maryland nursing home negligence or nursing home abuse case, you will be required to prove that negligence or abuse occurred and that a nursing home employee was the culprit. To learn more about how this may be done, and to speak with a dedicated attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.

See More Blog Posts:

Resident-on-Resident Sexual Abuse Goes Unreported; Nursing Home Fined, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published May 7, 2015.

Sexual Assault of Elders Occurs Most Often in Nursing Homes in Maryland, Nationwide, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 26, 2015.

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