At medicare.gov, you can now read US government reports of nursing home inspections all across the country.
On the Medicare website, you can type in the name of a specific nursing home, find all nursing homes within a certain distance of a zip code or city, within a particular state, or within a particular county.
The US government has rated each nursing home in three different categories: health inspections (the rating assesses nursing home environment, resident care and care process, and staff and resident interactions); nursing home staffing (the rating assesses overall staffing hours, including those staffed by licensed professionals); and quality measures (the rating assesses various data about the residents themselves). It also averages the different categories together to come up with a telling overall rating. All ratings range from one to five stars—one being the lowest and five being the highest.
In the 25 mile radius outside Cherry Hill, NJ, there are more than 125 nursing homes. Out of the 125 the site would display, a full 37 nursing homes received an overall rating of only one star—the lowest rating possible.
Nursing homes that earn a one star rating on health inspections typically rate poorly on the ability to protect their residents from abuse (this includes hiring staff with no patient abuse history); on the capacity to keep the nursing home environment clean and safe from accidents; on the error-free administration of medication; and on the effort to ensure that care is given in a way that allows residents to build dignity and self-respect.
To learn more about a particular nursing home, visit the Medicare website. If you are concerned that a family member in a nursing home is receiving sub-standard care or is being neglected or abused by nursing home staff, contact attorney Mike Ferrara at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about your rights. The initial consultation with an attorney who handles nursing home abuse case is free.