In 2013, about 3.3 million senior and disabled Americans are expected to reside in one of the almost 16,000 skilled nursing facilities across the country. This means about one in seven individuals over age 65 will live in a nursing home this year. In addition, at least one in five elderly citizens over age 85 is expected to reside in a long-term care facility in 2013. A Best Nursing Homes database recently compiled by U.S. News & World Report was allegedly designed to make selecting a quality nursing home easier on American families.
The Best Nursing Homes database was purportedly created using information from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Nursing Home Compare website. The searchable database reportedly utilizes CMS inspection data and federal ratings for certified nursing homes across the country to provide consumers with pertinent information regarding the various facilities. A certified facility receives federal Medicaid and Medicare funds and is subject to both state and federal regulation. Although not required, most long-term care facilities in Illinois are certified.
According to the database, more than 3,000 nursing homes across the country currently enjoy a five-star rating from federal inspectors. Unfortunately, a large disparity in the number of highly rated skilled nursing facilities exists across state boundaries. With 312, California has the most nursing homes with a five-star rating from the federal government. Illinois currently ranks third in the nation with 156 five-star facilities. Sadly, four states and the District of Columbia reportedly have fewer than 10 highly rated skilled nursing facilities.
CMS inspection ratings are based upon a number of factors including health inspection results, nurse staffing levels, and 18 clinical data indicators. Skilled nursing facilities are normally inspected once every 12 to 15 months and in response to specific complaints. In order to achieve a five-star rating, a nursing home must provide almost 4.5 hours of direct care to each resident every day. Approximately 45 minutes of such care must reportedly be provided by a registered nurse. Any time spent in physical therapy is also included. Additionally, nursing homes are rated based upon quarterly information submitted to CMS such as the use of physical restraints, patient infections, resident mobility, and pressure ulcer rates.
Although a number of online databases make it possible for families to review nursing home inspection information, the best way to determine quality care for a loved one is to visit a facility, ask questions, and listen to residents. Unfortunately, long-term care facility abuse and neglect is not always easy to identify. When an elderly or disabled nursing home resident is experiencing mistreatment at the hands of a caregiver, he or she may become depressed, exhibit a loss of appetite, and attempt to alert family members to the situation. Signs of physical abuse may include bedsores, broken bones, unexplained bruises, and an increased number of falls or other accidents. All suspected cases of nursing home abuse or neglect should be taken seriously and reported immediately. A quality nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer can help.
If your loved one was hurt as a result of abuse or neglect at an Illinois nursing home, you should give the hardworking attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 924-7575 today. Our capable Chicago area nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled friends and family members. For a free consultation with a knowledgeable advocate, please contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
Study Claims Nursing Home Residents in Illinois and Elsewhere Are Often Prescribed Dangerous Anti-Psychotic Medications Despite FDA Black Box Warning, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2013
Deficiency Reports for Nursing Homes in Illinois and Missouri Now Available Online, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, February 20, 2013
U.S. News’ best nursing homes – 2013, by Avery Comarow & U.S. News staff, MSN Healthy Living
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