'Nursing home ratings don't tell the full story' - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

'Nursing home ratings don't tell the full story'

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Recently the Center for Medicare and Medicaid updated their web site to include nursing home inspection reports from the past three years.

The site also includes detailed narratives.

The two sites – Hospital Compare and Nursing Home Compare – have been enhanced to make detailed narratives, and have added important new comparison tools like findings from nursing home inspections.

"These enhanced tools give patients, their families, and caregivers the ability to make an informed decision on where to seek care by looking at how well hospitals and nursing homes are performing on important quality measures, and" said Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. 

"Anyone looking to compare hospitals or nursing homes – not just those on Medicare – can take advantage of these web sites."

The new data from CMS now includes the details of a home's three most recent routine inspections - which means results from 2009 and 2010 are now available online.

The reports from years past don't paint the full picture of a nursing home, said Carla Atkinson, director of Melrose Nursing Center in Tyler.

"The grading system doesn't really give a full picture because it doesn't take into consideration the equity of care one facility has over another facility," Atkinson said.

Atkinson is a little worried how the old inspection reports might effect today's business.

"People that judge the facility from scores that were from years previous, it just doesn't give a clear picture to how it's run now," Atkinson said.

Atkins said a bad inspection from years past might deter people, even if they have a good inspection currently.

"A lot of people put a lot of acknowledgement in stats and numbers and it's more about the quality of the care and how people feel happy and at home," Atkinson said.

The most important thing to do when searching for a nursing home, Atkinson said, is to just check it out for yourself.

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