Over 560 nursing homes have had a one star rating for the past three years, according to statistics revealed by the government.
About 8% of homes in Louisiana and Pennsylvania have a one star ranking on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rating scheme, which was introduced in 2008. In Georgia the situation is worse with 10% of homes still stuck on the lowest rating on the five-star scale.
However, the majority of nursing homes did show signs of improvement.
Larry Minnix, president and CEO of an association of non-profit nursing homes called LeadingAge said: “Nobody wants to see consistent one-stars; they give everybody a bad name. You’d like to think the marketplace would deal with it and residents wouldn’t get placed there, but sometimes they don’t have a choice.”
The system was designed to make it easier for consumers to learn more about nursing facilities. However, some experts in the industry believe the ratings project is too simplistic and does not factor in how quickly a nursing home can change from bad to good.
Janet Wells, director of public policy for The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, said: “Nursing homes can plunge in quality overnight. It could be a change in the director of nursing or the administrator, or purchase by a chain with a bad track record. Nursing homes can also improve dramatically under a new manager or personnel.”
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