Using the Caregiverlist Star Ratings

Caregiverlist gives you the top-line information you need to know when reviewing a nursing home – including the prices. Remember, as the government inspection reports are missing about 20% of the data reported and are only conducted on average, once per year (this time span can be longer), they are only a starting point. Some factors, such as staff to patient ratio, have a higher probability of being accurate and are more heavily weighted in our ratings.

Overall Medicare Star Rating: This is the rating for the overall results of the government inspection reports.

Percentage of Short-stay Residents with Pressure Sores: Residents with pressure sores need to be repositioned regularly to allow the sores to heal and to prevent new pressure sores from developing (repositioning every 2-hours). The higher the percentage of residents with pressure sores indicates the need for more C.N.A.’s to assist and for the question to be asked: Are these residents arriving to the nursing home with pressure sores or developing them after they arrive? Pressure sores can lead to infections and mobility issues. If this number is higher, does the nursing home likewise have a higher percentage of nursing aide staff to residents?

Certified Nursing Aide (C.N.A.) Hours per Resident per Day: Caregiverlist weights this ranking higher, as a C.N.A.’s largest frustration while employed at a nursing home is the inability to adequately care for all of their assigned residents. Residents with extra care needs can take up much more of a nursing aides time during a shift. This is why often private caregivers are hired to assist residents in the nursing home during the time period that Medicare is paying for the nursing home care. As assistance with personal care, exercise and meals directly impact the ability of a resident to recover from illnesses and maintain healthy aging, the C.N.A.-staff-to-resident ratio is a high indicator of the amount of care that will be provided.

Percent of Long-term Residents whose Need for Help with Daily Activities has Increased: Residents needing more assistance with their ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living), require more assistance from a nursing aide. When there are not enough nursing aides staffed, residents miss showers, miss getting dressed daily, miss physical therapy and miss participating in activities. There is an ongoing debate about feeding tube usage and medication usage in nursing homes, as both have increased dramatically in what some say is a way to compensate for a lack of staff to provide adequate care to active residents. If there are more residents needing help with ADL’s, then more C.N.A.’s would be required.

Daily Price: How much will you pay per day when the Medicare coverage ends? In the event long-term nursing home care is required, how much will it cost? If you are in a situation where you will spend-down your assets paying for nursing home care, will the nursing home accept Medicaid as payment? If you are entering a nursing home on Medicaid, how do the quality standards rank?