Nursing Home Medicare Ratings
If you’re searching for an elder care facility, there are several factors to consider. Not only do they need to provide excellent medical care and be up-to-date on the latest technologies, but also they must offer good value for the price. One of the best ways to evaluate a nursing home is by checking out its Medicare rating. You can easily find all of a facility’s information on this website so that you can make an informed decision about where to place your loved one during end-of-life care.
There are five key ratings to keep track of for nursing homes.
- The first is the overall rating. This is based on the facility’s health inspection, staffing, and quality measures ratings.
- The second is a staffing rating. This measures how often staff members are available to provide care and treatment to residents at all times of day.
- The third rating looks at quality measures-how well the facility follows up with residents after they’ve been discharged from the hospital or move in, how well they keep track of medications and treatments given to patients etc., how often patients fall or get injured while living there etc., how long it takes for new patients to be seen by an RN or doctor etc., etc.-and compares them against national benchmarks for nursing homes across America.
Health inspections (4 stars)
The most important rating is health inspections. The rating is based on a five-star system, with five stars being the highest possible and one star being the lowest.
The Health Inspection Rating includes three main categories:
- Number of Deficiencies (found during inspections)
- Number of Serious Deficiencies (found during inspections)
- Repeat Deficiencies (found at previous inspections)
Staffing (3 stars)
The staffing rating is based on the number of hours per resident per day that the nursing home provides. The higher the staffing rating, the more hours of care provided. The lower the staffing rating, fewer hours of care provided. The following are examples:
- 5 stars for a nursing home with at least 7 hours per resident per day (or equivalent)
- 4 stars for a nursing home with at least 6 hours per resident per day (or equivalent)
- 3 stars for a nursing home with at least 5 hours per resident per day (or equivalent)
Quality measures (2 stars)
Quality measures are based on the care given to residents. The ratings include:
- Pressure ulcers
- Dehydration * Pain management * Medication management * Respiratory infections
Fire safety (2 stars)
- The home must have a fire alarm system that:
- Activates when there is smoke or fire in the building.
- Sounds an alarm throughout the facility, even when you’re sleeping or watching television in your room.
- The home must have a fire sprinkler system that:
- Will activate immediately when there’s an emergency and keep everyone safe until firefighters arrive to help put out a fire before it spreads to other parts of the building.
- All residents must be able to evacuate safely from their rooms within 15 minutes from the time they hear an alarm sound, using two routes out of each area (such as living room, dining room). If these exits aren’t possible for all residents because of their medical condition or physical limitations (for example if they’re blind), then staff should provide alternative ways for them to exit safely if needed (such as moving chairs aside so someone could roll through).
Overall rating (1 star)
Medicare has a five-star rating system for nursing homes, with one being the lowest and five being the highest. To calculate a nursing home’s overall rating, Medicare evaluates three parts of its performance: health inspections, staffing levels and quality measures. The health inspections evaluate how well a nursing home follows laws protecting residents from abuse and neglect; staffing levels are based on how many employees are available to care for residents; quality measures look at how often patients have an adverse reaction to medications or fall down without any help.*
- Source: https://medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/about/ratings
Check out the Medicare website for more info on the ratings.
You can visit the Medicare website to see the ratings for nursing homes in your area.
So, how do you know if a nursing home is safe? The best thing to do is check out their Medicare rating, which you can find on the website. You should also talk with former residents and employees of the nursing home in question before making any decisions about your loved one’s care.