Federal Website Misses the Mark on Nursing Home Evaluation Ratings
When searching for a nursing home for your elderly family member, you want to be sure you obtain the most up-to-date and accurate information to help you make your decision.
Nursing Home Compare is a website run by the US Medicare system. Many people rely on this federal website as a go-to resource when evaluating nursing homes throughout the country. In fact, about 1.4 million people checked the website in 2014; the site consists of evaluations of over 15,000 nursing homes.
Unfortunately, some are questioning the so-called “gold standard” in nursing home evaluation sites. Consider that California nursing home company North American Health Care is facing state review and many lawsuits brought by victims and their families alleging nursing home abuse and negligence. Even worse is that while the State of California is well aware of problems at one of North American Health Care’s facilities (having received numerous complaints), Nursing Home Compare website gave that facility, Rosewood Post-Acute Rehab, a five-star rating.
According to an investigation by the New York Times, Nursing Home Compare is ranking facilities based on incomplete data. Further, two of the three pieces of information the ratings are based on are being reported by the facilities themselves. For example, each nursing home is asked to provide staffing levels and quality measures statistics.
Self-reporting is a major problem because information can be extremely misleading. The best way for a caregiver to find out about skilled nursing facilities in New Jersey is to visit prospective homes, ask questions, and speak to others with family members in those facilities.
The good news is that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently unveiled a new Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating system. It will be more difficult for nursing homes to earn top ratings. Further, the new system will hopefully give consumers a more accurate view of the services and level of care provided in each facility.
If you have been mislead by a nursing home that promised top quality care and failed to provide your loved one with the care they deserve, contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who will fight for your family member’s rights.
Contact the Sugarman Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.