Many States Fare Poorly in New Study of Nursing Homes
Ohio is one of 11 states where at least 40 percent of nursing homes have low ratings under the federal government’s recently revamped five-star system, according to a new study. “It’s important to look at this because nursing home residents are some of the oldest and frailest individuals in the United States,” said Cristina Boccuti, a senior associate at the Kaiser Family Foundation and a co-author of the report. Texas had the highest percentage — 51 percent — of one- and two-star homes in the country, according to the Kaiser analysis. Louisiana was next at 49 percent, followed by Oklahoma, Georgia and West Virginia, each with 46 percent, and Tennessee at 43 percent. Ohio was in the next group, with New York and North Carolina, at 41 percent, the report found. The Kaiser study found higher overall ratings among small and nonprofit nursing homes. Those that are part of a continuing-care community — where residents move through independent, assisted-living and skilled-nursing options — also tended to have higher ratings, Boccuti said. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted the new ratings on its Nursing Home Compare website in February. More than a third of the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes received a score of one or two stars, which many experts say is a reflection of the tougher new standards.
David Wingate is an elder law and estate planning attorney in Frederick and Montgomery, Counties, Maryland. The law practice consists of wills, power of attorneys, trusts, Medicaid and asset protection.