WASHINGTON – Nearly a third of the nation’s nursing homes are getting lower scores on the government’s five-star quality scale, a reflection of tougher standards for ratings used by nearly 1.5 million consumers to assess care at more than 15,000 facilities.
The ratings, which will be posted Friday afternoon on the government’s Nursing Home Compare website and by USA TODAY, reflect sweeping changes in the way facilities are evaluated. The revamped assessments include measures of facilities’ use of anti-psychotic drugs, which can pose serious risks for older adults, especially those with dementia. They also use more refined metrics to check for adequate staffing, a critical component of good care.
About 61% of all nursing homes got lower quality-of-care scores as a result of the changes, but the declines weren’t dramatic enough in most cases to affect a facility’s overall rating, a USA TODAY analysis shows. About 28% of nursing homes … Read More »