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Stars: What Nursing Homes and Movies Have in Common

Just like movies, nursing homes are now given star ratings to help consumers determine which nursing homes are good or bad. If movies are any indication, people typically steer clear of one-star ratings and opt for the movie with the highest rating. In a similar manner, nursing homes now have a star rating system from one to five stars—to help the public choose the best nursing home for their aging family member.

It can be stressful to choose a nursing home, which is why the star rating system can make it easier for the public. However, it is important to note that not all nursing homes are rated using the star system. Only the nursing homes that are Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes are ranked using stars. There are over 15,000 certified nursing homes in this nation and about 700 certified nursing homes in Florida alone.

The Importance of the Five-Star System

You may be concerned about whether or not a nursing home will have enough staff on hand and if they will properly care for your loved one. While there is a lot of information on the Internet about nursing homes, one of the best ways to find out reliable information is to look at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services five-star ranking system. The star ratings will help you determine if a specific nursing home is good or bad.

For example, the nursing homes with one-star may have poor health inspections, patients with bed sores, poor quality control, and a low nurse to patient ratio. Additionally, nursing homes with low stars generally have failed to meet a certain area that they are graded on. It will be in your best interest to find a nursing home that is five-star rated to prevent nursing home abuse from occurring. Typically, five-star ranked nursing homes can ensure your loved one will receive the best possible care. However, nursing home ratings can change regularly based on inspections, so it is always good to keep an eye on the rankings.

What Do the Stars Mean?

The star rating reviews health inspections, quality measures, and staffing data. Some areas are more important than others, which is why stars are assigned to different areas and then added up for a combined overall rating. This system is very important in helping families determine a nursing home’s quality.

While the five-star rating system should be considered when looking at a nursing home, it is not the only way families should review nursing homes. It is still important to visit a nursing home in person, conduct your own walk-thru and inspection, and to ask questions while visiting.

As nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers, we encourage families who are selecting nursing homes to take into account as much information as possible when evaluating a nursing home. For additional tips on selecting a nursing home, read our other articles or follow us on Twitter.