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Are You Getting Misled by Nursing Home Ratings?

In Florida, many people living in this state are senior citizens. With that in mind, many older individuals can’t adequately take care of themselves. Because of that, some senior citizens live in nursing homes. If you’re seeking care for someone else, seeing certain nursing homes with glowing ratings can seem like a good thing. However, an investigation from the New York Times shows that these ratings might not be as trustworthy as you might think.

What is the CMS rating system?

In 2008, lawmakers and The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) came up with a rating system for nursing homes throughout the United States. Ideally, the goal of this system was to streamline information about nursing homes. This rating system used stars, with the best nursing homes getting a five-star rating and the worst ones receiving a score of one star.

Allegations of misrepresentation

Initially, CMS’ nursing home rating system received a lot of praise from groups overseeing care for senior citizens. However, it didn’t take long until other people and groups began raising concerns about this system.

Those who opposed this rating system warned that it incentivized nursing homes to misreport business metrics to receive a favorable rating. This situation could mean things like nursing home abuse and neglect get swept under the rug.

Details about the New York Times’ findings

After creating a database to look through hundreds of thousands of reports and financial statements throughout the nursing home industry, the New York Times reported what many people felt were shocking findings, including that:

  • A lot of incorrect information gets sent to CMS.
  • Some nursing home facilities write misleading reports to get a high star rating.
  • Certain nursing homes learn about so-called surprise inspections ahead of time.

In closing, the New York Times recently reported that some nursing home ratings are untrustworthy. If someone you know isn’t getting fair treatment in a nursing home, it could be time to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.