Medicare has been slashing its quality ratings for nursing homes after the discovery that many were inadequately staffed. The Medicare ratings now on-line show 30 of 231 Arkansas nursing homes at the one-star level on a five-star scale, meaning “much below overage” care.
The New York Times and Kaiser Health have been reporting on the discovery of low levels of staffing and inadequate record-keeping.
Medicare has lowered its star ratings for staffing levels in one out of 11 of the nation’s nursing homes — almost 1,400 of them — because they were either inadequately staffed with registered nurses or failed to provide payroll data that proved they had the required nursing coverage, federal records released this week show.
Medicare only recently began collecting and publishing payroll data on the staffing of nursing homes as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, rather than relying as it had before on the nursing homes’ own unverified reports.
The payroll records revealed lower overall staffing levels than the homes had disclosed, particularly among registered nurses.
Legislation favorable to the powerful nursing home lobby has made the business very profitable in Arkansas, almost guaranteed. But as David Ramsey reported earlier this year, profits haven’t guaranteed quality care.
When care suffers, lawsuits sometimes arise, though
We reported earlier on the findings