Medicare.gov, the official U.S. government site for Medicare, rates nursing homes across the country and allows website readers to compare various facilities. This feature, called Nursing Home Compare has detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country.
A recent search shows that 72 of 695 nursing homes in Florida were given just 1 star – that’s not a great endorsement of those facilities and a warning to families who are searching for homes in which to place their loved ones.
Another 124 homes were given 2 stars – that’s 30% of all homes in Florida that are rated with 1 or 2 stars.
The information on Nursing Home Compare can help you learn:
- How nursing homes have performed on health and fire safety inspections
- How the nursing home is staffed with nurses and other healthcare providers
- How well nursing homes care for their residents
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed Nursing Home Compare and the star rating system to provide consumers with an easy way to search for nursing homes that provide the quality of care they desire. All of the data found on Nursing Home Compare is provided as a service to the public.
The overall star rating for nursing homes is made up of three parts:
1) Health inspections
2) Quality of resident care measures
Star ratings for each part and for the overall rating range from 1 star to 5 stars, with more stars indicating better quality. CMS assigns the overall star rating in these steps:
Step 1: Start with the health inspections rating.
Step 2: Add 1 star if the staffing rating is 4 or 5 stars and greater than the health inspections rating. Subtract 1 star if the staffing rating is 1 star.
Step 3: Add 1 star if the quality of resident care rating is 5 stars; subtract 1 star if the quality of resident care measures rating is 1 star.
Step 4: If the health inspections rating is 1 star, then the overall rating cannot be upgraded by more than 1 star based on the staffing and quality of resident care ratings.
Step 5: If a nursing home is a special focus facility, all star ratings are suppressed.
CMS currently calculates a health inspection score for based on the following information:
- Citations identified on each of the nursing home’s three most recent standard health inspections.
- Citations identified on any complaint or facility reported incident investigations over the last three years.
Other factors include Fire Inspections, Emergency Preparedness Inspections and Staffing information (which looks at the ratio of the nursing staff hours to residents).
Emergency preparedness is truly important. In 2017, a Hollywood Florida nursing home – the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills – had 12 residents die in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma when the temperature in the facility climbed to 99 degrees. The nursing home’s central air conditioning had failed, pushing temperatures past the federally regulation temperature of 81 degrees. At 81 degrees, the problem needs to be fixed or the residents need to be relocated. The State of Florida alleged that nursing home officials failed to recognize the risk of the rising temperatures and violated state law by not providing “comfortable and safe room temperature levels.”
Do you have concerns about nursing home neglect or negligence?
The attorney’s at Baron & Herskowitz would like to hear your story. It’s estimated that over 5 million seniors are victims of abuse, neglect and improper care – with many of these incidents occurring in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the country.
The question becomes – are residents of lower reviewed nursing homes more likely to be victims of neglect? The answer is, we don’t know but it’s something to consider when finding a nursing home for a loved one.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers work with families in Florida to get justice for their loved ones. If you have a concern or question, we’d like to hear from you. Please fill out the form on the right hand side of this page or call us now at 305-670-0101 to speak with a lawyer. All consultations are free and there is no obligation to work with our attorneys.