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Best + Worst Nursing Homes in Rhode Island—Federal Study

Monday, August 20, 2012

 

Out of 84 Rhode Island nursing homes analyzed by Medicare, 20 received a perfect five stars and four received the lowest ranking of one star. Photo: simaje/flickr.

The quality of nursing homes in Rhode Island range significantly, according to a new study issued by Medicare.gov. Eighty-four Rhode Island-based nursing homes were scored across three measures and were issued an overall score by the federal study. (For all the rankings, go here.)

The nursing home ratings come from:

  • Health Inspections
  • Staffing
  • Quality Measures

A star rating (1-5) is provided for each of these three sources; from there, these three ratings are combined to calculate an overall rating. The report provides guidelines to families on how best to select the highest quality nursing home with the right resources for their family member.

“These enhanced tools give patients, their families, and caregivers the ability to make an informed decision on where to seek care by looking at how well hospitals and nursing homes are performing on important quality measures,” said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. Medicare hastens to point out, however, that the Five Star Quality Rating System is not a substitute for visiting the nursing home. "This system can give you important information, help you compare nursing homes by topics you consider most important, and help you think of questions to ask when you visit the nursing home," according to the ratings site. "Use the Five-Star ratings together with other sources of information."

Top Performers

Bethany Home, in Providence, is one of the RI nursing homes granted a top-flight, five-star designation by Medicare.

According to the federal report, 20 of the 84 Rhode Island nursing homes scored the top ranking of five stars overall. The city of Warwick was home to the most five-star facilities--four in all. West Shore Health Center, and Avalon, Sunny View, and Brentwood Nursing Homes all received Medicare's highest ranking. Three facilities in Providence--Bethany Home of RI, Hallworth House, and Tockwotton Home--received this top designation.

Pawtucket and Middletown each contain two top-ranked nursing homes. In Pawtucket, Kindred Transitional Care and Rehab-Oak Hill, and Jeanne Jugan Residence-Little Sisters of the Poor, each were granted five stars overall. Middletown's Grand Islander Center and Forest Farm Health Care Center were both named five-star facilities.

The average rating for Rhode Island nursing homes is three stars, which is also the national average.

Low Performers

Evergreen House Health Center, a Life Care Centers of America facility, earned the lowest ranking from Medicare--one star.

Four Rhode Island nursing homes scored just a one-star overall ranking, which is considered as “much below average ranking.” They are located in four separate municipalities statewide.

Those facilities are: Evergreen House Health Center in East Providence; Morgan Health Center in Johnston; Westerly Health Center in Westerly; and Cortland Place in Greenville.

Rights of Residents

Nursing home residents have certain rights and protections under the law. The nursing home must list and give all new residents a copy of these rights.

These resident rights include, but are not limited to:

• The right to be treated with dignity and respect.

• The right to be informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home.

• The right to manage your own money or to choose someone else you trust to do this for you.

• The right to privacy, and to keep and use your personal belongings and property as long as it doesn't interfere with the rights, health, or safety of others.

• The right to be informed about your medical condition, medications, and to see your own doctor. You also have the right to refuse medications and treatments.

• The right to have a choice over your schedule (for example, when you get up and go to sleep), your activities and other preferences that are important to you.

• The right to an environment more like a home that maximizes your comfort and provides you with assistance to be as independent as possible.

To explore Medicare's full ranking system and read more on nursing home evaluation and selection, go here.

For more Health coverage, don't miss GoLocalTV, fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.

 

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Comments:

The "five star" ranking system has some value, but is tricky to interpret. For example, the first sentence of this article is incorrect. Medicare did not find that our nursing homes vary "significantly" in quality. Rather, the system is DESIGNED to rank nursing homes over five levels, regardless of whether the differences between them are significant or barely distinguishable.

Medicare starts by ranking nursing homes on the basis of health inspection results. The top TEN percent of facilities are ranked with five stars; the bottom TWENTY percent get one star. The remainder are divided equally among two, three, or four star levels. (Note that this means a state is required to start out ranking 43% of its nursing homes as subpar, with just one or two stars.)

Then, the nursing home can gain or lose a star on the basis of quality measures; and can gain or lose a star on the basis of staffing. As a result, fully 24% of Rhode Island nursing homes are ranked with five stars, and only 5% are ranked as one star. (Our state's nursing homes score very well on national measures.)

All this is to say, as is noted in the article, that there is no substitute for visiting a facility in person, to make your own evaluation.

All this is explained by Medicare, here: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/Downloads/brieffivestartug.pdf

Comment #1 by Virginia Burke on 2012 08 20




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