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The U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently instituted a quality rating system for all nursing homes that are eligible to receive federal funds through Medicare or Medicaid. The scoring is based on a 5-star quality rating system, with 5 out of 5 stars being the highest rating. The Five-Star Quality Rating System was created to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and help identify areas about which you may want to ask questions. The website is easy to use and offers other useful links and information.

Nursing homes are rated based on information obtained from health inspections and include certain results from recent inspections. The ratings also address staffing and other important quality measures such as how well the nursing home helps people keep their ability to dress and eat, or how well the nursing home prevents and treats skin ulcers. In addition to the ratings, consumers can compare a facility’s performance with average national and state scores for specific quality measures. Now, anyone contemplating entering a nursing home or placing a loved on in a nursing home has access to the information necessary to make an informed decision.

Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse is endemic. The Government’s new rating system, however, provides an invaluable resource to the public. The more informed we become, the better able we will be to reduce neglect or potential abuse. Ultimately, a better informed public will put pressure on the industry to raise its standards.

Before deciding on a nursing home facility check out Medicare/Medicaid’s Five-Star Quality Rating System.

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