U.S. News & World Report today unveiled its rankings of the nation’s best nursing homes, with 2,975 earning top honors.
The organization said it modified its methodologies of evaluating the country’s 15,000 nursing homes to place more of an emphasis on staffing quality. It’s also added a new short-stay rehabilitation rating, aiming to provide potential patients with a clearer picture of the quality of care provided to individuals after a surgery, stroke accident or illness.
Since the rankings’ start in 2009, U.S. News had relied on data from Nursing Home Compare to compile its list. But with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services moving to payroll-based nurse staffing reporting, and a freeze in health inspection data since November 2017, the organization said it has modified the way it uses CMS data for evaluating facilities.
“Every year we strive to improve upon the information we offer to caregivers making critical healthcare decisions for their loved ones,” Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News, said in a press release issued Tuesday. “We understand that nurse staffing is among the most important predictors of nursing home quality. With our new methodology and short-stay rehabilitation rating, we have taken several steps to ensure that nursing homes that consistently provide high quality care to residents are highlighted.”
U.S. News said that it calculated ratings from various component domain ratings — including staffing, inspection and quality — that CMS publishes for each facility. It used staffing data only from April 2018 onward, when the agency began using payroll-based records.
Wisconsin was the state with the highest number of “best” nursing homes, totaling 176 that received either an overall or short-stay rehab “high performing” rating. Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island and Wyoming, meanwhile, have the highest proportion of Best Nursing Homes.