Consumer 'watch list' critiques nursing homes, notes persistent problems

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One percent (or 171) of the nation's nursing homes have appeared on each of the four "watch lists" produced since 2000 by Consumer Health Choices at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.

Overall, 10% (or 1,717) of the nation's nursing homes appear on the 2004 watch list, which was released Tuesday. Of those, 42% (715) have appeared on three of the four 'watch lists' issued. More than 6% of those on this year's list were cited for immediate jeopardy deficiencies.

Supported by funding from the Commonwealth Fund, Consumers Union used federal inspection data to classify facilities. The 2004 report, "How Good are Your State's Nursing Homes?" is based on data through March 2003, according to a spokeswoman.

The full report and watch list can be found at www.consumerhealthchoices.org.

Consumers Union will publish another update of the nursing home watch list next year with an in-depth examination of how states and the federal government address – or don't address – poorly performing facilities.