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|Nursing home analysis used federal
records, statistical tools
Gannett News Service
Gannett News Service’s efforts to rate America’s nursing
homes comprises three major analyses of computerized federal government
— Patient well-being indicators reported by homes, showing how
healthy and comfortable residents are.
— Inspections performed by state regulators.
— Repeated, serious violations of patient care standards.
For six patient well-being indicators at each of the nation’s
16,000 homes, GNS ranked the scores of all nursing homes on each of
the indicators. The indicators included the percentage of residents
with pressure sores, the percentage with infections and the percentage
After the scores were ranked, the homes were divided into five equal
groups, or quintiles, for each indicator.
The groupings were the basis of a star rating of one to five for each
home on each indicator, with five stars awarded for the lowest percentage
of residents with sores, infections and other problems.
For the inspection results, regulators, advocates and others cautioned
that differences in state inspection programs would invalidate a national
ranking system of the type used for patient well-being.
So, GNS created 50 state-specific rankings for the results of inspections,
in which the 350,000 violations found at homes in the past four years
were weighted and averaged depending on how life-threatening they
were. The ranks of those averages were used to create star ratings
as well. The weighting system was adapted from a method Florida regulators
For the analysis of repeat offenders, violations that resulted in
actual harm to nursing home residents were analyzed.
Much of the quality and inspection information also was used to compare
homes by their geography, ownership types and other factors.
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About the project writers
About the project