Nursing home quality stagnates, says HealthGrades

December 06, 2005

Nursing home deficiencies causing actual harm to residents declined from 7.0 percent to 6.5 percent from 2003 to 2004, while patient abuse remained stable at 17 percent of complaints, according to a new analysis of the ratings HealthGrades annually gives to nearly every nursing home in the country. Overall, the deficiencies cited per nursing home declined 2.0 percent from 2003 and 2004, the analysis found.

"We are not seeing the declines in actual harm to the nation's 1.6 million nursing home residents that we should," said Samantha Collier, MD, vice president of medical affairs for HealthGrades, the leading healthcare ratings company. "But we did discover some interesting facts that will help people make a smarter decision, including the finding that the top ten nursing homes in each state tend to have nearly half as many beds as the worst ten in each state - something everyone should think about when choosing a nursing home."

The ratings for each of 15,375 Medicare/Medicaid certified nursing homes can be found in HealthGrades' Nursing Home Quality ReportsTM, available to consumers at

The analysis of the nation's nursing homes from the years 2003 to 2004 also finds:The findings echo the conclusions of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Then known as the General Accounting Office, the GAO issued a report in 2002 that found a high proportion of nursing homes with serious quality problems. HealthGrades' analysis supports these government findings.
HealthGrades' Nursing Home Quality Reports include star ratings of nearly every nursing home in the country, allowing individuals to make an informed comparison of local facilities. The reports also include state investigation reports, recurring complaints, and tips on asking the right questions during an interview. Reports are available online for $9.95 for the first purchase, and $2.95 for additional reports.

About HealthGrades
HealthGrades (Nasdaq:HGRD) is the leading healthcare ratings organization, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. Millions of consumers and hundreds of the nation's largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades' independent ratings to make healthcare decisions based on the quality of care. More information on the company can be found at


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