Consumer Reports examines Nursing Homes, and its not good

I have always thought Consumer Reports did a great job analyzing new cars, and technologies that hit the market. But last week, their reporting became very personal.
A review of 16,000 nursing homes in the U.S. finds that poor quality care is still evident. The review of various facilities not only classified some nursing homes, a list of very practical suggetsions were provided to help families in selecting a facility.
Overall, Charles Phillips, director of the Health Services Research Program at Texas A and M, tells WebMD.com, “We ended up classifying 4% of the homes in the country as homes to consider, and 3% of homes in the country as homes to avoid.” The vast majority of nursing homes in the study — 93% — weren’t rated either as a home to “consider” or one to “avoid.”
But 12 have been on Consumer Reports’ poor-performance list since the magazine started the list in 2000.
“I don’t want to leave the impression that all nursing homes in this country are bad. There are many nursing homes that are doing a good job of trying to provide care,” Lieberman says.
Well, regardless of whether you are looking for a facility, or a loved one is already settled in, here are some good tips from Consumer Reports – “Tips for Finding Good Nursing Home Care:”
*Get the names of local facilities. Call Eldercare Locator (800-677-1116) to find your local agency on aging.
*Check Consumer Reports Nursing Home Quality Monitor, which has state-by-state findings, at www.consumerreports.org/nursinghomes.
*Check on ownership. Independent nonprofit facilities may be better than for-profit chains, according to Consumer Reports.
*Check with your local long-term care ombudsman. This government official can be found through your local agency on aging. He or she should know about local nursing homes.
*Don’t rely on the federal web site. Nursing home information at www.medicare.gov may be “incomplete and possibly misleading,” says Consumer Reports.
*Visit homes several times.
*Read each home’s Form 2567. That’s the facility’s state inspection survey.
*Check on the staff. Talk to the home’s administrator; and ask about top-level staff turnover.

And the author of this Blog, also encourages you to speak to staff and resident family members – ask if the staff is swamped or if enough help is hired.

For the original report – go to www.webMD.com

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Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.