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Medicare Website Lets You Compare the Quality of West Virginia Nursing Homes

Medicare Website

Are you searching for a nursing home for yourself or a loved one? Are you or a family member currently residing in a facility but wondering if the appropriate level of care is being offered? Touring a facility in person and interviewing staff, administration and residents is probably the best way to get a feel for whether a particular nursing home is right for you, but a good starting point can be found on line at the Medicare-run website Nursing Home Compare.

There are 126 nursing homes in West Virginia. With Nursing Home Compare, you can search for nursing homes closest to you by searching by city, county or zip code. Or if you are willing to travel to find the best facility, you can broaden your search to the whole state or beyond. You can also narrow your search by only looking for nursing facilities within a continuing care retirement community or within a hospital, or limiting your search to facilities that accept Medicare and/or Medicaid.

Nursing Home Compare combines a large volume of assessment data into one easy-to-read Five Star Rating System, so you can see at a glance which nursing homes are considered the highest quality by Medicare. For instance, in West Virginia 16 nursing homes currently have a Five-Star Rating, which is considered to be Much Above Average. On the other hand, 22 facilities only have One Star and are deemed Much Below Average. Overall, there are 54 facilities considered Above Average or Much Above Average, and 50 nursing homes that rank Below Average or Much Below Average. So it is very important to do your homework to increase your chances of finding a nursing home that provides quality care and does not engage in or tolerate nursing home neglect.

The Overall Rating is a combination of Star Ratings in three broad categories: Health Inspections, Staffing and Quality Measures. The Health Inspection rating looks at issues such as the proper management of medications, the storage and preparation of food, how staff and residents interact and the overall nursing home environment, and how well residents are protected from physical and mental abuse. Fire safety and building inspections are also included in this rating.

The Staffing Rating is based on the nursing home’s staffing hours for Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).

Quality Measures are based on resident assessment data that show how well the nursing home cares for residents’ needs regarding their health, physical functioning, mental status and general well-being. A lot of this data is self-reported to Medicare by the nursing homes.

Once you have selected a short list of nursing homes from the website, you can compare up to three at a time and look at their ratings side-by-side. Hopefully, this process will help you narrow your list of desirable options, and you can then schedule visits to your top choices and find the facility that best meets your needs.

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