Collins & Collins, P.C.

Rankings of Nursing Homes from Best to Worst - Read Em or Weep

Databases of nursing home evaluations are important for those contemplating placing a loved one in a nursing home. Making an uninformed decision could be disastrous.


Albuquerque, NM -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/04/2013 -- US News and World Report maintains a database of the nation’s nursing homes, ranking them from best to worst with numerous evaluation criteria. The database was created in conjunction with Nursing Home Compare. The report and others like it are very important for anyone faced with the need or possibility of placing a loved one in one of these facilities.

It is estimated that there are over 3.3 million Americans who currently reside in nursing homes. This is a staggering number. The sheer number of nursing home residents suggest the need for these kinds of reports. However, there is much more to it than that. There are simply some nursing homes that you would never want to place a loved one. And these should be identified in no uncertain terms.

The scope of nursing home abuse and neglect is startling. By no means do all nursing homes abuse and/or neglect their residents. However, without reports such as these, families would never know which they are about to enter. Sadly, this is found out way too late, often after permanent and serious injuries and even wrongful death have resulted from an uninformed choice.

The report from US News and World Report is not the first nor the only available such study. But it is remarkable for a couple of reasons. First, the report covers many different evaluation criteria. Second, the publishers have made it very easy to search for nursing homes in your area by zip code search. You can readily see how the nursing homes you are contemplating stack up in terms of these criteria.

The criteria address 4 different categories: health inspection issues, nurse staffing, quality measures, and fire safety. Each of these measures is broken down further so that you can see exactly what is measured for each of the each of these categories. For instance, the quality category is evaluated on 18 different measures.

Each of the overall categories receive a rating. In addition, each of the individual measures within the category are rated. This allows families to mark off the facilities that simply should not be considered. It allows families to further cull their search with those criteria that are most important to them and their loved ones.

Finally, the site allows users to determine if the facilities have suffered any penalties. It is not clear how thorough the penalty category is since clicking on some facilitates with pretty abysmal ratings do not provide much detail. Perhaps, it is not the report that is deficient but the enforcement of the laws and regulations in the states.

One thing that might be helpful that I could not find on the site was an indication of how many times a facility was sued and what the outcome was for each suit. Fortunately, this information can be found elsewhere such as at for cases filed in New Mexico. Other states presumably have similar such sites. It is worth checking these as well.

In summary, these types of resources are critical when making such an important decision as where to place your loved ones. Use them. Perhaps it will not come back to haunt you, but if it does the harm is often irreparable to you, your family and your loved one.