The Good & The Bad: How to Find a Nursing Home


You can use the federal Nursing Home Compare website to find rankings and inspection information for nursing homes across the country. Nursing homes on the website are rated by Medicare in four areas:

  • Overall Staffing Levels
  • Percentage of Registered Nurses
  • State Inspections
  • Quality Measures for Residents

The homes on the website are given a separate rating in each area, as well as a combined overall rating. The site also grades the nursing homes on a curve. Facilities in the top 10 percent of each state are given 5 stars, while homes in the bottom 20 percent receive one star. Nursing homes between the top and bottom are given 3 to four stars.

Nursing Home Compare has a wealth of information for people who are searching for the right place for their loved ones. However, even employees who work at the highest-ranked facilities suggest that the website shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when picking a home for your loved one.

In fact, critics are weary of the information you might find on Nursing Home Compare. Two-thirds of the overall score for the facilities on the website is based on self-reported data regarding staffing and quality measures. The other one-third of the score is based on state inspections, which can contain outdated information.

One of the most important factors you want to consider when choosing a home is staffing. Particularly if qualified medical professionals are available at all hours of the day. If you are interested in a nursing home, you should visit the facility in person to see the quality of service for yourself. You should try to pop in overnight, or when people are having lunch or getting up in the morning, this will give you a better idea what staff is available all the time.

You can also review annual inspection reports on the Nursing Home Compare website, or you can request these reports from the nursing home in person. You should keep an eye out for words like “abuse,” “neglect,” and “jeopardy,” when you are reviewing the reports. If there is something in the report that is concerning, you can ask the facility administrator to explain what they have done to address the issue.

Do you suspect that your loved one has been abused or neglected by nursing home staff? We can help. Contact our Kansas City nursing home abuse attorneysto schedule your free consultation today.


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