Nursing Home Compare: A helpful tool for Nursing Home Research

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Nursing Home Compare provides the latest evaluations of nursing homes in Michigan, and is invaluable as you decide which facility will best meet your needs.

As we age, or as our loved ones age, some find themselves considering whether Michigan nursing homes or similarly situated assisted living facilities are an option. It can be a difficult decision to make, and as such should not be done lightly. Conducting thorough research is imperative, which is what makes tools such as Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare so valuable. It provides a great deal of information about nursing homes throughout the state and across the country, and, when coupled with a visit to the facility in question, can be an effective way to select a nursing home. As personal injury attorneys who have successfully litigated cases involving nursing home abuse, negligence, and other claims, we have seen firsthand how important it is that you do your homework before selecting a home.

Latest Nursing Home Ratings Published in February

Recently, the results of the latest evaluations of America’s nursing homes were released on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare, results that included those in Michigan that are Medicare and Medicaid facilities. What was different about these results was that they were based on an updated, tougher federal grading system. The three main categories under which nursing homes were evaluated were health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. In this latest round of ratings, one-third of United States nursing homes received lower scores because of the changes made to the evaluation. Overall, it was not enough to affect the overall ratings of the majority of nursing homes, but 28% lost 1 star and 3% lost two stars (the greatest number of stars facilities can receive is five).

The lower scores don’t necessarily mean that there has been a negative change in the quality of care provided at the facility. Indeed, a new metric was introduced in this year’s evaluation: the circumstances under which anti-psychotic drugs were used on patients. Twenty percent of nursing homes evaluated received the lowest score, losing points if drugs were used in instances that did not involve specific medical conditions. In addition to the use of anti-psychotics, the evaluation also looked at the prevalence of bedsores in nursing home residents, injuries resulting from falls, and the use of physical restraints, among other elements. Government inspections still remained the most heavily rated metric.The results of the most recent evaluations also showed that too many nursing homes tended to misrepresent the number of individuals they had on staff, which is a cause for concern: can you truly provide proper care if you don’t have enough people to provide it?

In all, the latest ratings and updated system show that there are a number of factors that you need to consider when researching potential nursing homes. You should not only research the potential facilities you’re considering by making use of Nursing Home Compare and other information provided by the state, but you also want to be sure to visit the nursing homes in person if at all possible.

Negligence and Nursing Home Abuse Claims

While the progress that has been made over recent years is certainly welcome, there are still too many cases of nursing home abuse and inadequate care. We trust that when we put our elderly relatives and friends in these facilities, they will be properly monitored and cared for. However, with inadequate staffing, residents aren’t looked after as they should be, and incidents can happen, whether it be sustaining serious personal injury after a fall, or something much worse.

Negligence claims against nursing homes or other assisted-living facilities may be brought if injury (or injuries) are sustained as a result of the negligence of employees of that facility in question. If employees charged with caring for the injured party failed to do so through the failure to comply with specific standards of conduct, resulting in the injury in question, suit can be brought not only against the nursing home, but the individual employees as well. If a medical provider (i.e., doctor) failed to behave in accordance with the generally accepted standards of medical care, resulting in injury (or worse) to the resident, a nursing home medical malpractice suit may be brought, under the proper circumstances.

If you believe that either yourself or a loved one may be subject to abuse or negligence in these types of facilities, consider contacting a nursing home abuse attorney or consult with a personal injury firm with experience handling nursing home cases. They will be in the best position to judge the facts of your situation and advise you on the proper course of action.

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