U. S. News has just issued a report on the “Best Nursing Homes – 2014.” The data used comes from federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The states in the top twenty all have at least three hundred nursing homes. Each home was rated on a five-star system taking into consideration nurse staffing, health inspections, and the quality of medical care.
Facilities reported the number of nurses on the payroll for two weeks before the latest health inspection, the number of hours they worked, and the average number of residents. These numbers were used to determine the average number of minutes of nursing time per resident. A five-star rating indicates the facility provided nearly 4½ hours of care each day – including about 43 minutes from registered nurses – for each resident.
“Health” for this report is defined as safety of food preparation, adequacy of infection control, medication management, residents’ rights and quality of life, and proper skin care. To rate nursing homes for this category, information from heath inspections conducted by the state on behalf of CMS every 12 to 15 months were combined with health-related complaints. In addition to noting the number of deficiencies, the seriousness and scope of identified deficiencies was also considered. This means looking at how many residents could have been or were affected. Deficiencies and complaints considered were those identified during the three most recent health inspections.
CMS requires nursing homes to submit clinical data for 18 indicators. However, the ratings are based upon nine of them – two for short-term and seven for long-term Medicare and Medicaid residents. The indicators are those considered most valid and reliable. The percentages of residents who were physically restrained to keep them from falling from a chair or bed or who had a urinary tract infection were included along with measures related to mobility, bedsores, and pain.
There were 3,867 nursing homes that earned an overall rating of five stars from the federal government in January 2014. The winning states all have at least three hundred nursing homes and are ranked by the percentage of their homes with an overall five-star rating. Michigan ranks fourth with 30.4% and Illinois ranks thirteenth 13th with 21.9%.
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