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Regional Nursing Homes are rated by Medicare

Regional Nursing Homes are rated by Medicare

Medicare has begun rating each nursing homes in different regions depending on their operations, staffing, healthcare service quality etc. This article informs about this rating system and the statements of the nursing home's personnel about this rating system.

Recently an innovative rating system has been introduced in the Medicare's website. Medicare uses this rating system to rate different nursing homes on the basis of their services, treatment facilities etc. With the help of this rating the consumers and the patients can evaluate the services provided by different nursing homes in a region and choose any of these on the basis of this comparison.

However, such alternatives are considerably destabilized at North County. This is because, here, the number of nursing homes are limited and lots of patients apply to get appointed here for treatment. So patients have hardly any scope left to make choices by using the rating system. The CVPH Medical Center's Nursing Services Director, Rosemary Reif, has remarked that less than 150 beds are available in this region's nursing homes. The CVPH Medical Center itself has 70 beds for patients, while only 20 beds are reserved for the TCU (Transitional Care Unit). The Interim Administrator for the CVPH Skilled Nursing Facility, Kyle Cahill has claimed that, the community hospitals and nursing homes have beds greater than the number of patients in downstate, whereas their nursing home is in scarcity of beds for inpatients.

Even the nursing homes of Franklin, Essex and Clinton counties have reported deficiency of beds. However it is being desired that soon a high-tech nursing home facility will be established in Plattsburgh that will have above 200 beds for patients. However, the State Health Department has still not authorized for the establishment of such a facility, but the personnel's hope that within months the authorization will be provided and by 2010 the project will be completed.

For the time being, Medicare customers can log in to the official website of Medicare, i.e. www.medicare.gov and avail required details on every nursing homes of different regions.

The ratings are provided to each of the nursing homes depending on the quality of care it offers, employees conduct, healthcare inspections, patients outlook on the nursing homes and on many other aspects. All this, enable the customers to get a considerable amount of information on different nursing homes before they settle their mind to get treated from any one of these.

However the Administrator of the Plattsburgh-based Meadowbrook Health Care center, Paul Richards, was found to comment against the rating system. He said that the rating system is not yielding the intended results, with which it was released. Instead of assisting the customers, the rating system network is confusing them. As per Richards, the quality measures and each and every finer points are not taken into consideration by Medicare when the nursing homes are rated.

This is a 5-star rating system and the nursing home with maximum number of stars ranging from one to five is considered as the quality care provider. One star signifies poor quality whereas five star signifies superb healthcare service quality. Meadowbrook Health Care received 3-star rating but as per its statements, it should have received more as it believes itself to be a 4 or 5 star healthcare service provider, with the best infrastructure. So for getting such a rating, it is now toiling hard to enhance themselves more.

Richards remarked that the rating system is helpful as far as it points out the 1-star rated and the 5-Star rated nursing homes. Customers can also know easily that which one is the best and which one is inferior. However, the problem mainly arises with the ratings provided in between; mainly the 3 star and 4 star ratings. It is often found that there hardly lies any difference between the two. The basis of rating and also choosing in between a 3 star and 4 star nursing home, often becomes difficult for the customer. Richards also proved that even the surveys will show that 93% satisfied patients and customers refer Meadowbrook Health Care to their relatives and friends for getting treatment and healthcare services.

The Transitional Care Unit of the CVPH Medical Center managed to bag a 4-star rating on an entire basis. However, it lost points as it has got only 1-star as far as its quality measures are concerned. When questioned the same from the TCU of CVPH Medical Center, it replied that because of the short number of days of stays by patients, the nursing home personnel's were not able to avail more information from the patients to report quality measures services.

Not only this, but CVPH Medical Center's nursing home got 5-star rating for its employment practices, while on the other hand lost many points in the areas relating to health inspections. However, they are now planning to move forward and promise to bag a 5-star rating on an overall basis in the next year's rating program.

A 4-star rating was awarded to Clinton County Nursing Home on an overall basis because of its state-of-the-art facilities. As per the administrator of the nursing home, Wendie Bishop, the main reason for which the nursing home bagged such a prestigious rating is the personnel's dedication towards work and quality of care services provided to heal the patients.

However, Bishop has also pointed out several drawbacks of the rating system. The surveys that are conducted during the rating system, doesn't assess the exclusive requirements of the people in each of these nursing homes. Every nursing home has to face some constraints and this is not taken into consideration, while the rating is provided. Bishop remarked that the Medicare's rating system should work in association with many other systems and process in order to analyze a nursing home's efficiency. The surveys that are conducted in order to provide the rating, must keep a close watch on the communications that takes place between the patients and the nursing home personnel.

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