California Nursing Homes Split on Quality

Among states with the largest numbers of seniors, California leads the nation in having the most high quality nursing homes, according to a new report.

But the state also has a large number of nursing homes that scored poorly on a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services quality rating system, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s May 14 report.

The report uses February data from the federal rating system to analyze nursing home performance across the country. The data includes only nursing homes certified by either Medicare or Medicaid, two federal health programs for seniors and low-income people.

About 55 percent of nursing homes in California had high overall ratings of four or five stars, according to the report. However, 28 percent of nursing homes in the state scored poorly, earning just one or two stars.

Among the five states in the U.S. with the most seniors, California has the smallest share of low-rated nursing homes. At the other end of the spectrum is Texas, where 51 percent of nursing homes earned one or two stars.

The national rating system factors in state health inspections, staffing ratios and quality measures, such as effectively managing patient pain and preventing falls.

Nationwide, scores were higher on measures that are self-reported by nursing homes and lower on those from the state health inspection reports.

Nonprofit facilities have higher overall ratings than for-profit nursing homes. About 70 percent of all nursing homes in the U.S. are for-profit.

According to the report, 42 percent of for-profit facilities received one or two stars, which was double the rate of non-profit nursing homes.

Smaller nursing homes, with fewer beds, also tended to have higher overall ratings than larger nursing homes. Among nursing homes with fewer than 60 beds, 39 percent received the highest possible overall rating, compared to 14 percent of nursing homes with more than 120 beds.

To view the scores of nursing homes in your area, click here.

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