WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in health care rankings, today released the 2019-20 U.S. News Best Nursing Homes. To create these free and easy-to-use resources, U.S. News evaluated more than 15,000 homes nationwide, in every state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas. This year, 2,969 nursing homes earned the designation of a U.S. News Best Nursing Home.
"For the aging population in America, a nursing home should meet the specific level of care based on the needs of each patient or resident," said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News. "The U.S. News Best Nursing Home ratings hone in on measurements like emergency room visits, quality of staff and proper distribution of medical and physical therapy to help families make an informed decision. These ratings help individuals and their families begin their search for senior care and should be used in consultation with a medical professional and in-depth on-site visits."
Now in its 10th year, the U.S. News Best Nursing Homes offer comprehensive information about care, safety, health inspections, staffing and more for almost all nursing homes in the country. With this tool, individuals can easily conduct a customized search for a highly rated nursing home by location, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, Alzheimer's care and size. The Best Nursing Homes reflect U.S. News' analysis of data collected and published by the federal government using a methodology defined by U.S. News that evaluates factors that U.S. News has determined most greatly impact patient and resident care, safety and outcomes.
This year, U.S. News introduced a new rating focused on long-term care. The Long-Term Care Rating aims to provide prospective residents who need help with daily activities, and their families, with analysis and information regarding the quality of care provided by nursing homes. The rating includes data on staffing, success in preventing ER visits and pneumonia vaccination rates, among other metrics. Out of 13,685 nursing homes that received a Long-Term Care Rating, 1,139 were designated as High-Performing.
Significant updates for the 2019-20 U.S. News Best Nursing Home ratings include:
- U.S. News introduced a new approach to calculate the Overall Rating which now incorporates the Short-Term Rehabilitation Rating and Long-Term Care Rating from each Nursing Home in order to generate an overall score. This is the first year that the Best Nursing Homes ratings have not relied on domain star rating data from the Nursing Home Compare website by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
- U.S. News continues to emphasize staffing level and consistency. Because U.S. News believes that quality and safety depend on adequate nursing levels, U.S. News analyzed the percentage of days where federal standards for registered nurse staffing hours were met.
- Patient and resident outcomes factored heavily in the 2019-20 ratings. The results a nursing home achieves – including how often short-term patients successfully return home and how often long-term residents require hospital care – are among the most important and most reliable quality measures available according to the U.S. News methodology. The ratings give them considerable weight.
In 2018, U.S. News developed a Short-Term Rehabilitation Rating that assesses the performance of skilled nursing facilities in post-acute care. For 2019-20, 13,683 facilities received a Short-Term Rating, while only 2,250 homes earned a High-Performing Rating. This year the Short-Term Rehabilitation Ratings newly incorporate several measures of quality, including consistency of registered nurse staffing, use of antipsychotic drugs and success in preventing falls.
All measures in both ratings were developed from publicly available data from the CMS as of August 2019. For more information about this year's updates and new rating, please refer to the methodology.
"The inclusion of the new Long-Term Care Rating in this year's Best Nursing Homes guide expands the quality of data-driven decision support for patients, residents and families choosing a nursing facility," said Zach Adams, senior health data analyst at U.S. News. "Here at U.S. News we understand that every person researching a nursing home is looking for qualities specific to their needs. We have updated our methodology to reflect multiple dimensions of care that matter when making this important decision."
This year, California has the highest number on the list, with 169 nursing homes that received a High Performing Rating in Short-Term Rehabilitation and 157 designated as High Performing in Long-Term Care, followed by Pennsylvania and Florida. Washington, D.C., Hawaii and Alaska have the highest proportion of Best Nursing Homes with at least half of all Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing homes in these states receiving a High-Performing designation in either Short-Term Rehabilitation or Long-Term Care, or both.
In addition to helping families find the best nursing home for their loved one, U.S. News published an extensive guide on the questions to ask when choosing a nursing home. Along with this, U.S. News provides guidance on how to pay for nursing home costs and the best activities for seniors in a nursing home.
About Best Nursing Homes Updated Methodology
U.S. News has updated the methodology used to evaluate nursing homes so that the designation of Best Nursing Home is given only to those homes that satisfy U.S. News's assessment of the appropriate use of key services and consistent performance in quality measures. Homes needed to receive either a Short-Term Rehabilitation Rating or a Long-Term Care Rating to be eligible for a U.S. News overall rating. Homes rated High Performing in Short-Term Rehabilitation, Long-Term Care or both received a Best Nursing Home designation.
The Short-Term Rehabilitation Rating designates nursing homes as high-performing, average, or below average in the care they provide to patients staying at the facility for less than 100 days. The new Long-Term Care Rating designates nursing homes as high-performing, average, or below average in the care they provide to individuals staying at the facility for longer than 100 days.
For more information behind both U.S. News ratings please refer to the FAQ.
About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. A digital news and information company focused on Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars and Civic, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
SOURCE U.S. News & World Report