Nearly 30% of Georgia Nursing Homes Receive 1-Star Rating

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

The American Health Care Association has designated May 12-18 as National Skilled Nursing Care Week. Formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, this week aims to highlight the role of skilled nursing care in nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the country.

In recognition, Georgia law firm Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. (BBGA), which specializes in nursing home abuse and neglect cases, has compiled a list of the best and worst rated nursing homes in Georgia and the Atlanta region. The list is based on ratings from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS shows 360 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in Georgia. Of those 360 long-term care facilities, 38 (10.5 percent) received a five-star rating and 107 (29.72 percent) received a one-star rating. Sixty-seven received a four-star rating, another 84 received a three-star rating, and 62 a two-star rating.

For Atlanta nursing homes, within a 50-mile radius, CMS shows 92 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes. Of those 92 facilities, only six received a five-star rating, down from 16 in 2018, and 31.5 percent (29) received a one-star rating, up from 28. Twenty-one facilities received a four-star rating, 18 a three-star rating, and another 18 a two-star rating.

CMS rates Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes based on their health inspection status, quality of resident care measures, and staffing. Ratings are updated annually and facilities are given an overall star rating from one-to-five stars. A one-star rating is considered “much below average” and a five-star rating is “much above average.”

“It’s always a difficult decision when placing a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility,” BBGA firm partner Evan Jones said. “Sometimes it’s unavoidable though, and we want to make sure Georgia residents have everything they need to make an informed decision before signing on the dotted line.”

Several changes were made to the Five-Star Quality Rating System in 2019:

Health Inspections: The methodology for health inspection ratings went back to what they were prior to February 2018. This means results from the three most recent standard health inspections, coupled with 36 months of complaint inspections, are used to calculate the health inspection score.

Staffing: The staffing rating thresholds were changed, with the staffing level required to receive a 5-star rating determined based on analyses of the relationship between staffing levels and measures of nursing home quality.

Quality of Care: Measures of long-stay hospitalizations and long-stay emergency department (ED) visits were added to the quality measure rating, and the long-stay physical restraints measure was dropped. There are also new point thresholds for the overall quality measure rating as well as the short-stay and long-stay ratings.

Special Focus Facilities: Nursing Home Compare no longer displays an overall quality rating or ratings for nursing homes currently participating in the Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. Click here for a list of all the Georgia nursing homes participating in the SFF program.