Not-For-Profit Nursing Homes Offer Best Care
Not-for-profit nursing homes generally provide better quality of care for residents than for-profit facilities, according to a Consumer Reports survey, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports. In addition, independent nursing homes were found to provide better care than those managed by companies that operate numerous homes.
For the survey, which was funded by a grant from the Commonwealth Fund, researchers evaluated three of the most recent state inspection reports for about 16,000 nursing homes nationwide. Researchers ranked the best and worst 10% of nursing homes in each state using at least two indicators of quality.
Only a limited number of nursing homes met the quality standards of Consumer Reports, which is published by Consumers Union. Of the for-profit nursing homes evaluated, 2% met Consumer Reports' standards (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 8/6).
Of the 12 facilities nationwide with the lowest performance ratings, two were in the San Francisco Bay Area (Vigil, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/7).
Not-for-profit facilities fared slightly better at 7.3%. Consumer Reports also noted that independently owned facilities may fare better than large chain facilities because they have more staff and are more likely to use registered nurses.
The magazine issued several recommendations for family members searching for nursing home care for a relative:
- Obtain a list of homes from a nearby agency, on aging as well as the contact information for the area ombudsman.
- Investigate the ownership of the facility, keeping in mind that independent not-for-profit facilities tend to offer the highest quality care.
- Do not rely on the CMS Web site for information. According to Consumer Reports, "Our comparison of the information on that site and the state inspection reports on which it is based show that you'll probably get an incomplete and possibly misleading picture."
- Visit the homes under consideration. Drop by unannounced during morning waking hours and dinner hours to see if residents are taken out of their beds or eating communally -- signs of a good, well-staffed facility (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 8/6).