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What can you learn from Medicare’s nursing home ratings?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2021 | Elder Law

If you need to move an elderly parent into a nursing home, you probably have some concerns about your mother or father receiving adequate care. After all, some nursing homes have staffing shortages and other problems that make them less than ideal or even downright dangerous.

While scheduling multiple visits to any nursing home you are considering is probably wise, you may need a way to trim your list of potential nursing homes. Medicare’s nursing home rating system is a good place to start.

A multi-pronged rating system

You may be familiar with star-based rating systems on Yelp or Google. Medicare’s nursing system is similar, as it assigns up to five stars based upon a number of factors. The system prefers current metrics, so an improving nursing home is likely to have a better star rating than one that is in decline.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare’s multi-pronged rating system considers health inspections and staffing. These are important foundationally, as you do not want your parent to live in a facility that has too few workers or a history of health violations. The system also looks at 15 separate quality of care metrics.

The right fit

Seeing how nursing homes perform in each of the quality of care areas may help you decide which facility is right for your parent. That is, once you know what specific type of care your parent needs, you can look at the relevant quality of care metric to see how each nursing home performs.

Medicare’s rating system is only one tool you can use to find the perfect nursing home for your mom or dad. Ultimately, though, by starting with the rating system, you can likely determine which nursing homes you do not need to visit.