finger pressing one star out of fiveTo help families make informed decisions regarding elder care, the federal government rates all nursing homes on a scale of one to five, with a five-star rating indicating the highest possible care and a one-star rating indicating that a facility needs improvement. A one-star rating does not necessarily mean a facility is unsafe, but it is still a cause for concern.

All states have at least one facility with a one-star rating. In August 2019, Kentucky had 75 one-star nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

About Medicare’s 5-Star Rating System

The rating system for nursing homes and long-term care facilities took root in 1998 as a way for consumers to objectively evaluate skilled nursing and rehab centers that participate in Medicare. The current star method of evaluating facilities has been in place since 2008.

The star system uses three key metrics to determine ratings:

  1. Health and fire inspections. A review of inspections and complaints from residents, staff, and family members for the past three years is taken into account when determining the facility’s star rating.
  2. Staffing. This includes registered nurse (RN) coverage as well as overall staffing levels.
  3. Quality measure data. This is a collection of 11 metrics that includes both physical and clinical indicators—such as fall rate statistics and percentage of residents who received the flu shot.

The star rating system provides a vital starting point for evaluating a facility, but does not take into account the subjective factors individual inspectors may use when making their ratings or the fact that some facilities accept patients with medical and psychiatric needs that make them more difficult to care for.

Seeking Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

A one-star rating often means that a facility has been fined for lapses in patient care. However, if your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect, you can also seek compensation for the damages your loved one has suffered.

Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review with the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Gray and White Law. We will discuss your legal options and how to best protect your loved one from further harm.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky

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