An analysis by USA Today finds that among 15,700 nursing homes nationally, about 20% receive low marks for overall quality, and those with the lowest ratings – one or two stars – are owned by for-profit companies.
There are an estimated 1.4 million Americans in nursing homes. About a quarter-million live in the low-ranked nursing homes. But even they must satisfy the basic Medicare requirements. USA Today examined the federal government’s data from the first ratings of the homes’ performance. Late in the Bush administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began assigning the Zagat-like ratings based on quality, staffing, and health inspections. The Five-Star Rating System launched at www.medicare.gov.