According to a recent report from U.S. News & World Report, nursing homes in California, including in San Diego, may rank better than facilities in other parts of the country. However, just because a nursing home makes the list for having the highest number of high-quality nursing homes, according to a recent article in Senior Housing News, that fact alone does not necessarily correspond to the state having a particularly high percentage of high-quality facilities. If you have a loved one who currently resides in a nursing home in Southern California, or if your aging parent soon may be moving into an assisted-living facility, it is important to understand what nursing home rankings do (and do not) mean.
What can we learn about the quality of California’s nursing homes from the report in U.S. News & World Report? What other issues do we need to take into consideration when evaluating the quality of a particular nursing home and the risks of nursing home abuse?
Rankings for High-Quality American Nursing Homes
Earlier this month, U.S. News & World Report released its annual “Nursing Home Finder” for 2016-2017, an interactive resource designed to help seniors and their families locate a high-quality facility in their area. In addition, when putting together this resource, U.S. News & World Report evaluates nursing homes across the country. In its evaluations, it looks at more than 15,000 nursing homes, and it seeks to pull samples from across each state and throughout major metropolitan areas. In total this year, only about 2,000 facilities “earned the designation of a U.S. News Best Nursing Home,” according to the report. In terms of numbers, that means only about 13% of the facilities evaluated were determined to be high-quality nursing homes.
Why are these evaluations and the rubric for determining a high-quality nursing home important? According to U.S. News’ editor and chief content officer Brian Kelly, “several million Americans will spend at least some time in a nursing home this year, whether undergoing rehab after a hospital stay or as long-term residents.” He went on to explain that “finding a nursing home that meets an individual’s specific needs can be challenging for families.” As such, the U.S. News ratings aim to “help potential residents and their loved ones navigate this difficult process.”
California Has a High Number of Nursing Homes on the U.S. News List
The good news from this year’s U.S. News list is that there are a particularly high number of nursing homes in California. California is listed as the state with the highest number of facilities that made the list of high-quality homes. In order to qualify for this status, a facility has to earn 4.5 stars on average from federal reports, and it also must “consistently meet certain performance standards set by U.S. News during the period, such as earning at least four stars in the CMS overall rating for all 12 months.”
It is a good sign that California has a number of nursing homes that made this year’s list of the best facilities. However, as the Senior Housing News article makes clear, California does not have the highest percentage of high-quality nursing homes. In other words, when looking at the number of high-quality facilities in relation to the total number of homes assessed in a state, California does not even make the top three. Those spots are taken by the states of Washington, D.C., Colorado, and Delaware. As such, it remains just as important as ever to be aware of injury risks at nursing homes and to be vigilant about the safety of loved ones.
Contact a San Diego County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Do you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety in a facility in Southern California? A San Diego nursing home abuse attorney can answer your questions today. Contact the Walton Law Firm to get started on your case.
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