Value of Nursing Home Rating System Debated

It’s been almost six months since Nursing Home Compare was launched, and all of the nations 15,600 nursing homes were listed and rated by the U.S. government. The reviews are in, and it’s no blockbuster, but it isn’t a flop.

For consumers, it’s been mostly a good thing. It is the most complete nursing home rating website, which provides information about nursing staffing, state inspections, allegations of neglect. But some consumer groups want more details included about inspection results, and how staffing hours is calculated. Just counting workers, they say, is no indicator of the quality of care.

The nursing home industry, which tried to delay the website’s rollout, says the grading system used by the site is misleading. Just because an allegation of neglect or abuse is made, it doesn’t mean it has been substantiated.

Larry Minnix, the chief executive of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, a trade organization for nonprofit nursing homes, believes that some important categories are not addressed by the rating system, and that nursing homes may not get credit for the care they actually provide.

Even though it has been six months since its launching, and receives 50,000 hits a day, the impact of the new site is unclear. Both the nursing home industry and patient advocates believe that most people don’t know about it.

“Right now, many people making decisions about homes are in a crisis and pressed to make an immediate decision, and some simply don’t know that the ratings exist online.” said Gerald Kasunic, a long-term-care ombudsman.

Source: Washington Post

Nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Walton Law Firm LLP represent seniors and dependent adults who are victims of neglect, abuse, mistreatment, and malpractice in the nursing home, assisted living, and residential care setting. Cases in all Southern California counties are accepted, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Imperial.