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Study Ranks Best and Worst Cities for Nursing Home Care

  • March 18th, 2004

Detroit is the worst city for nursing home care and Los Angeles is the best, according to a new survey by Health Grades, Inc.

More than half (54 percent) of the nursing facilities in Detroit had four or more violations that caused actual harm to a resident over the last four years, says Health Grades, a Denver company that measures health care quality. By contrast, only 2 percent of Los Angeles facilities had four or more violations that caused harm. (A violation, also known as a deficiency, occurs when a facility violates a Medicare or Medicaid regulation.)

Rounding out the top five worst cities for nursing home care were: Fort Worth, Texas (53 percent); Fort Wayne, Indiana (52 percent); Houston, Texas (50 percent); and Seattle, Washington (49 percent).

The remainder of the top five best cities were: St. Petersburg, Florida (3 percent); Jacksonville, Florida (3 percent); Long Beach, California (4 percent); and San Diego, California (4 percent).

To identify the best and worst cities for nursing home care, Health Grades first identified the 58 cities in the U.S. with 20 or more nursing homes. Then, the company analyzed four years of licensing survey and complaint survey data on the facilities in those cities and calculated the proportion that had four or more actual harm violations. The report is based on data from 2003

However, the results showed an improvement over last year's survey, when nearly three quarters (74 percent) of the nursing homes in the worst city, Fort Wayne, Indiana, had four or more violations over four years that cause actual harm. In the next-worst city in the 2003 survey, Detroit, 63 percent of the facilities had at least that level of violations.

Health Grades also found that:

  • Nearly one out of four (24%) nursing homes in the U.S. had at least one violation that caused actual harm to a resident in the last 12 months.

  • Nearly one out of seven (15%) nursing homes in the U.S. had more than five formal complaints filed from residents, family members or other third parties in the last 12 months.

  • More than one out of nine (11%) nursing homes repeated the same violation two or more times in the last four years.

Health Grades, Inc., provides ratings, information, and advisory services to health care providers, employers, health plans, and insurance companies. Among other things, the company sells reports to consumers that provide data on the quality of specific nursing homes, hospitals and physicians.

For more on the survey, click here.

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Last Modified: 03/18/2004

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