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Advocacy group grades U.S. nursing homes by state

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In New York, when a person is no longer able to perform daily tasks or self-care due to health issues, a nursing home may be the only option. Choosing the facility can be one of life’s more difficult decisions because the quality of care can make such a difference in whether a person is treated with dignity and respect. Families for Better Care, an advocacy group for nursing home residents, is focused on improving the conditions in nursing home facilities across the nation by analyzing data and providing grades for each state.

To create the rankings, Families for Better care uses information collected from the three following sources:

    •          The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that analyzes national health issues
    •          The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
    •          Complaints from the Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman

The data compared includes professional nurse and direct care staffing and the average number of care hours per day each resident receives. Deficiencies and severe deficiencies that are recorded from state inspections, health inspection data and verified ombudsman complaints are also included in the analysis.

Unfortunately, New York has received a failing grade two years in a row, and currently ranks 45th in the United States for the level of care provided. Staffing is of particular concern, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, because a resident of an understaffed facility with poorly trained aids is at high risk for sustaining a nursing home injury due to negligence or abuse. Since nursing homes are not graded individually, a person may want to ask detailed questions about issues such as deficiencies, complaints and staffing when considering a facility.

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