U.S. News Ranks Best Nursing Homes for 2013

California is the state to beat when it comes to highly-rated nursing homes, with twice as many as any other state, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 list of Best Nursing Homes.

The best nursing homes by metro area are in Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and Madison, Wisc.

With more than 3 million Americans expected to spend some time in a nursing home in 2013, U.S. News’ nursing home ratings cover more than 15,000 facilities across the country.

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U.S. News used data from Nursing Home Compare, run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to create its Best Nursing Homes list, awarding the designation to facilities that recently earned an overall rating of five stars—the highest rating CMS gives.

Star ratings are determined by a variety of factors, including performance in health inspections, quality measures for residents, and nurse staffing levels. About 20% of the nation’s nursing homes have five-star ratings, says Ben Harder, general manager of the magazine’s health rankings.

The list also ranks nursing homes by state and supplies each state’s percentage of five-star facilities.

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While a high percentage of Hawaii nursing homes (38%) have a five-star rating, the state represents a smaller sample size with just 45 nursing homes, says Harder. California on the other hand has more nursing homes than any other state in the country, but its percentage of highly-ranked nursing homes is above the national average, at more than 25%.

Texas, meanwhile, has a relatively high number of nursing homes but a lower-than-average number with five-star ratings, at 11%.

“Our ultimate goal is to help consumers make better decisions when choosing a nursing home,” Harder told SHN. “[The list] provides a benchmarking tool for operators. They know what the goalposts are and how CMS evaluates nursing homes. By making consumers more aware of that information, it helps drive consumer choice and reward homes that provide better care.”

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Click here to access U.S. News & World Report’s nursing home rankings.

Written by Alyssa Gerace