“Best Nursing Homes” List for 2017 Highlights High-Performing Facilities

U.S. News & World Report released its annual list of the “Best Nursing Homes”, finding more than 2,000 facilities nationwide that made the cut. However, that number of good nursing homes represents a significant drop from previous years. 

The publication names the best nursing homes each year, offering an expert evaluation on the top performing facilities across the nation. The report also includes a search tool to help find a top performing nursing home in every state.

More than 15,000 nursing homes were evaluated across the country to compile this year’s U.S. News list of “Best Nursing Homes” for 2016-2017 released November 16. The evaluation included nursing homes in every state and in 100 major metropolitan areas.

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The 2,000 top performing facilities identified in the report represent only 13% of all nursing homes in the United States. That is a 41% decrease in the number of homes that made the list from last year. The decrease has been linked to changes in the methodology of compiling the list more than to an actual drop in the quality of the country’s nursing homes.

This year U.S. News & World Report updated its selection methodology to include how nursing homes have performed over a longer period of time. It also includes information on whether a home offers rehabilitation services that are effective.

“Several million Americans will spend at least some time in a nursing home this year, whether undergoing rehab after a hospital stay or as long-term residents,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News. “Finding a nursing home that meets an individual’s specific needs can be challenging for families.”

For a second year in a row, California has the most nursing homes on the list. Ohio was also a top performer, as well as Florida. Washington, D.C. had the highest proportion of best nursing homes, compared to the total number of homes that were evaluated.

The report also includes an interactive website to assist the nursing home search process. The Nursing Home Finder allows people to conduct a customized search by location, distance, Medicare and Medicaid coverage and size. It offers details on the care offered at a nursing home, the safety rating, health inspections and the staff.

The list was compiled using data from the Nursing Home Compare, a program run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is a federal agency that sets and enforces nursing home standards.

Many patients and families face uncertain nursing home standards when searching for a long-term care facility. Care may be lacking for a number of reasons, including nursing home neglect, abuse, malnutrition, and injuries from falls.

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