Alaska is the place to be if you need nursing home care, but steer clear of Texas. Families for Better Care, a Florida-based nursing home resident advocacy group, published a new state-by-state nursing home report card which aggregates data from several key measures.
The group scored, ranked and graded states on eight different federal quality measures ranging from the percentage of facilities with severe deficiencies to the number of hours frontline caregivers averaged per resident per day. The organization analyzed results of staffing data compiled by the Kaiser Health Foundation, performance measures from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Nursing Home Compare database, and the Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman complaint data to come up with the final grades.
The best nursing home states are Alaska, Rhode Island and New Hampshire; Texas, Louisiana and Indiana were at the bottom.
Other results included:
- More professional nursing staff are needed – Only seven states provided more than one hour of professional nursing care per resident per day.
- An overwhelming lack of staffing – 96 percent of states offered residents fewer than three hours of direct resident care per day.
- Widespread abuse and neglect – One in five nursing homes abused, neglected or mistreated residents in almost half of all states.
This is another good opportunity to review the list of nursing homes in your state and compare results. There are numerous story angles that can work here – for example, which nursing home ranks best/worst in your state and why? Are administrators doing anything to correct deficiencies? Are state officials aware of these problems? What, if any, action is being taken? What do family members think?
The 2013 Nursing Home Report Card is available for download.