The fifth annual “Best Nursing Homes” report by the US News and World Report is out. The report uses data from federal agencies that monitor facilities across the country and checks to see if the facilities have enforced the rules set down by the federal monitors before including them in the list.
The top names in the list are of course those healthcare units that have already been awarded a five star rating in federal investigations and health checks. The report which is freely available, makes it easy for Americans looking for the best nursing homes in their area and helps them make a choice. The representatives at US News believe that the report helps lessen the burden of an important choice―that of finding a facility to take care of our loved ones when we are not or cannot be around.
Spoilt for choice
Just last year, upwards of 3 million Americans spent at least some months in the year at a skilled nursing facility for various reasons. As 2014 comes to a close, industry watchers are expecting a similar number. A stay in a skilled nursing and health care unit can be for a variety of reasons and for both long and short durations, but the fact is that making a choice is not as simple as one would think. According to nursing home attorneys, there are more than 16,000 nursing homes across the country. But not all of them maintain the same level of patient care and follow federal guidelines to a T.
There have been cases in the past where family members have found patients in long term nursing home care―specially the one with Alzheimer’s―treated shabbily. Horror stories are aplenty, and when you hear of how someone found their elderly family member with maggots in their wounds because the nursing home employee did not bother to clean them properly, you would be forgiven for being a cynical customer.
Looking for the best is not easy
Nursing home attorneys do admit that despite stringent federal and private monitoring standards, some facilities do tend to fly below the radar and get away with terrible violations. Sometimes, the violations just don’t make it to the news and the general public remains unaware of the transgressions committed by the facility.
Therefore, for customers looking to book a bed in a nursing home for a family member it is vital that they do their homework and look at all aspects before making a decision. This is where the news report by the US News will, hopefully, come in handy and help make the decision making process slightly easier!
This year, the report lists the Beachside Nursing Center at Huntington Beach, Orange County, California as the top ranking nursing facility in the country. The facility is run by North American Health Care Inc., which has around 35 facilities around the country. Each of North American’s facilities have been rated by Medicare and given a five star award.