I have written several blogs over the past few months about the best and worst nursing homes in Western Virginia (just search our blog for your city or town to find those posts). My blogs were based upon the Medicare 5 – Star Rating System.

Recently, the Scripps Howard News Service analyzed the 5 – Star Rating System and reached the following conclusions:

1. Facilities run by for-profit corporations, which account for about two-thirds of all nursing facilities, generally get lower scores than those run by nonprofits.

2. Homes with more nursing staff per patient, which also tend to be run by nonprofits, generally do better in the ratings.

3. Homes with more than 100 beds tend to get lower scores in all categories, including health of residents and levels of nursing care.

4. Slightly more than 20 percent of nursing homes nationwide have been regularly given the lowest ratings, and 12 percent to 13 percent have received the top rating.

5. Ratings are lowest in Southern states, particularly for nursing care and registered-nurse staffing, and highest for homes in the Northeast.

My Recommendation: Always make sure you know how your nursing home scored on the 5 – Star System.

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at