Report Finds Medicare Ratings for Nursing Homes Misleading

Katarina Siegfeld | September 16th, 2014

Elderly-Family-Member-Spending-Christmas-Alone-300x300New York nursing home abuse lawyers from The Sanders Firm are troubled to learn that Medicare’s star-based rating system for nursing homes has been found to be misleading through a recent investigation conducted by the New York Times. The report found that even institutions with multiple complaints filed against them have been able to receive a “five star” rating.

Medicare’s rating system purportedly provides the public with an evaluation of the safety and quality of care provided for its patients by considering annual health inspections, staff levels, and quality statistics. However, the last two measures rely only on self-reported data that Medicare does little to verify.

In addition, the ratings system does not incorporate data such as fines or other censure from local, state, or federal law enforcement, and does not consider the number or kind of complaints that have been filed against a nursing home. For instance, the Rosewood Post-Acute Rehab in Sacramento, CA has received a five-star rating despite the $100,000 fine it incurred from the state over the death of one of its patients due to a blood thinner overdose. And between 2009 and 2013, well over 100 complaints were filed against the home.

NY nursing home abuse lawyers available for consultation

Five star ratings are an obvious draw for family members considering an appropriate place to care for their aging relatives. But family members may feel betrayed by the misleading nature of the rating systems which, as the report notes, effectively allows some homes to “game the system,” regardless of their actual level of safety and competence.

Family members who have lost loved ones to what they believe was an isolated mistake may be shocked to discover that the loss was actually part of an unreported pattern of neglect and abuse that was masked by this misleading system. New York families whose relatives have suffered injury and death while in the care of a nursing home may want to consider an investigation into the nursing home to determine whether such a pattern existed in these cases.

NY nursing home injury attorneys at The Sanders Firm will be able to make a preliminary inquiry to determine whether or not an institution may be liable for medical malpractice claims.

NY nursing home neglect attorneys at Sanders are ready to speak with you

In recent years, Rosewood Post-Acute Rehab facility has been sued over a dozen times over substandard care, despite its high ratings. Some New York facilities may also be providing less than adequate care to its patients regardless of high Medicare ratings that have now been shown to be poor indicators of the health and safety of their facilities.

If you believe that your loved one suffered death or injury due to neglect, abuse, or other kinds of medical malpractice at a New York nursing care facility, please contact one of the NY nursing home abuse attorneys at The Sanders Firm for a free consultation. Our attorneys are able to review medical records and safety qualifications for a nursing home that go below the surface rating system provided by Medicare, and will be able to answer any questions you may have about a potential lawsuit.

Please contact us at 800-324-7752 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.