Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Worst Nursing Homes remain on Government Rating List.

More than 560 of the nation's nursing homes have not budged for the past three years from a one-star federal government rating — the lowest on a five-star scale — even as most homes improved, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal data.
In Georgia, more than one in 10 nursing homes have consistently received one star in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rating. Pennsylvania and Louisiana each had 8% of homes at the lowest rating. "Nobody wants to see consistent one-stars; they give everybody a bad name," says Larry Minnix, president and CEO of LeadingAge, an association of non-profit nursing homes. "You'd like to think the marketplace would deal with it and residents wouldn't get placed there, but sometimes they don't have a choice."

The lowest overall rating is awarded to nursing homes "much below average" compared with others in their state, according to CMS. Among problems that can drop a rating: consistently dirty equipment and linens, elder mistreatment and unlicensed caregivers or specialists.

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