More than a decade ago, the federal government unveiled what was intended to be an invaluable tool to help people make what can be the most difficult choice of their lives: The nursing home to which they should entrust the care of a cherished elder loved one. The system used a simple 5-star rating, with one being the worst, and five the best. But has it actually led to better care and fewer instances of Florida nursing home abuse and neglect?
According to an in-depth investigation by The New York Times, the answer is: Unlikely. Reporters analyzed the underlying data that powers those databases and found it to be fundamentally flawed, providing a heavily distorted picture of the level of care offered at nursing homes across the country.
As our Florida nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys understand it, many of these nursing homes fudged self-reported data to government regulators (specifically, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). The CMS ratings system that is shared with consumers relies on a mixture of health inspector reports from on-site checks as well as self-reported data. Continue reading