Medicare ratings for nursing homes

80% of Nursing Homes Lying About Staffing Levels

There is no question: the quality of resident care in a nursing home care is directly connected to staffing levels. Low staffing levels are consistently linked to a higher likelihood of elderly patient injury and death.

When nursing home companies report inaccurate staffing data, they are basically lying about resident safety.

A new data review on 10,000 nursing homes showed that the staffing levels they provided to Medicare—and listed on the Nursing Home Compare website—doesn’t match their financial reports.

A Center for Public Integrity just completed an analysis of nursing homes’ annual financial cost reports. The analysis found that up to 80% nursing homes are inflating their staffing levels.

About 25% reported twice as many staff hours as their payroll data actually shows.

Medicare’s rating should be based on real data

Medicare has a 1 – 5 star rating system for nursing homes. That data is made public so that families can make informed choices for elder care.

Currently, a facility’s rating is at least partially based on its self-reported staffing hours.

The rating system is supposed to be updated under a provision of the Affordable Care Act. Nursing homes will have to submit real payroll data for nurses, instead of just reporting their staffing hours. But it hasn’t happened yet — and it may take up to two more years.

In the meantime, assume that the 5-star rating system used on Nursing Home Compare data is flawed. So how do you know if a nursing home is safe?

About Kevin

Kevin Coluccio was recently named one of the Top 10 Super Lawyers in Washington State. He has long history of successful elder abuse/neglect cases and has a stellar reputation for getting results for his injury clients in serious car crashes, pedestrian accidents, trucking accidents, maritime claims, and asbestos injury cases.