Nursing Home Rating System Used by Medicare May Not Be Reliable Indicator of Superior Care for Elders

Do not be too quick to accept the value of nursing home ratings provided by Medicare. In recent years Medicare has taken it upon themselves to become an evaluator of nursing home facilities. An easy search to compare the quality of care one might receive at a particular facility would seem to be valid and helpful. Instead, the Medicare nursing home rating system has been called into question after an investigation in the state of North Carolina revealed that some of the nursing facilities with high ratings have been fine for abusing residents in the past.

This would lead a reasonable person to wonder how the Medicare ratings are determined. This investigation has uncovered information suggesting that a nursing home’s rating may not suffer under the Medicare rating system, if it takes a sufficient step to correct issues as they arise. If a person is abused and that abuse is later addressed in any fashion, then in the eyes of Medicare the nursing home is still worthy of a high rating. It does not matter the number of complaints or occurrences. If a person is abused or neglected it does not matter so long as some effort has been made to address the complaints.

Further investigations into this Medicare rating system have shown that nursing homes can be fined large sums of money if they are determined to be violating their obligations to care for their patients in a sufficient manner. But, even these nursing homes can have those fines reduced regardless of the neglect or abuse suffered, if they promise to not appeal the allegations against them. For nursing home owners, this allows them to continue to receive payment for Medicare patients and be an active member of the Medicare network, even though their care levels would cause most people to shy away from relying on their internal safety procedures.

For now, it may not be in the best interest of you or someone you love to trust the Medicare rating system. Instead you will want to ask others about the quality of care their loved one is receiving inside the nursing facility. You also want to visit the facility and take note of the conditions, the happiness of patients, and the cleanliness of the facility. If a nursing facility is not in satisfactory order, or received any complaints, you probably will want to try a different place. If you visit and you are still not sure they want to consider visiting at an odd hour to see if the staff is still as friendly and their coverage is sufficient given the number of patients.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is real you never want your loved one to be exposed to an abusive environment. You want to make sure that the nursing home has attentive staff that seem to genuinely care about what they do. Just because you commit a loved one into someone else’s care does not mean they will receive the requisite care they deserve.

If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, call the Strong law firm immediately. We are not afraid to advocate your loved one’s best interest and to make certain the abuse and neglect does not happen to anyone else. We offer a free consultation to discuss your situation.