March 10, 2015

Maryland nursing homes ranked one star soar 125% while five-star elder care homes down 27%

maryland-nursing-home-lawsuitDozens of Maryland nursing homes will see a change their scores on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare after the federal government altered its methodology for ranking elder care facilities.  With these changes, the number of Maryland’s 228 nursing homes with a five-star ranking plunged 27% from 81 to 59.  The number of nursing homes with a one-star ranking surged 125% from 12 to 27.

Nursing Home Compare is a service offered on Medicare’s website.  It ranks nursing homes on a scale of one (lowest) to five (highest), helping family members decide who to entrust with the care of a loved one.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) bases these rankings on scores in three categories: on-site inspections, quality of health of a facility’s residents (quality measures), and staffing levels.

The revamped calculations now factor in a nursing home’s use of antipsychotic drugs in determining its quality measures score.  The inclusion of this variable came after advocates raised concerns with regulators over the possibility nursing homes were over-prescribing antipsychotic drugs to control residents.  Additionally, CMS altered its ranking system to require higher scores on staffing to achieve an overall ranking of four-stars or more.

Maryland nursing home rankings on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare service

Before Changes

After Changes

Five Star 81 Five Star 59
Four Star 54 Four Star 51
Three Star 37 Three Star 45
Two Star 43 Two Star 45
One Star 12 One Star 27

The Cochran Firm, D.C. has a team of experienced and dedicated attorneys willing to go the distance to secure compensation for victims of elder care abuse and neglect.  In 2013, attorney Charles Meltmar won a $1.45 million trial victory after jurors found the caregivers of a severely burned resident were negligent and liable for the victim’s injuries.