Relying on a star rating system usually works well for choosing a movie for an evening’s entertainment. But even then, we’ve all learned that some 5-star movies leave us cold, and that no one review can perfectly address our personal preferences and needs.
When choosing a nursing home, the ratings are even less helpful. A recent article by Jack Gillium highlighted the pros and cons of trying to take advantage of the Medicare rating system. Among the insights:
- Year after year, 1 in 5 nursing homes receive and maintain poor ratings…with no virtually no consequences
- Many of the homes with the lowest ratings had no competition–they are the only facility for miles
- Nearly all the nursing homes that performed poorly year after year–those consistently receiving 1 or 2 stars–were owned by for-profit corporations
The article also describes how Medicare decides stars, and gives a link to search for ratings.
We know how difficult it is to have someone in a nursing home, and we are fighting to make sure that people have all the information they need to make sure that their loved ones are well taken care of. That means knowing general star ratings, but also levels of insurance coverage by the facility, who the owners are, and their history of complaints of abuse or neglect. Levels of care should never be a mystery.
(To read more about how to choose a nursing home, visit our website.)