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October 30, 2018

U.S. News & World Report: Maine among the best for nursing home care

Courtesy / Maine Veterans Home in Augusta U.S. News & World Report gave the Maine Veterans Home in Augusta, a facility with 120 beds that is not part of a continuing care retirement community, a “high-performing” rating for both overall quality of care and for short-term care.

Maine ranks among the top states for the quality of care at nursing homes, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s latest nationwide evaluation.

For its “Best Nursing Homes for 2018-19” analysis that was published today, U.S. News evaluated more than 15,000 homes nationwide, in every state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas. This year, 2,975 nursing homes earned the designation of a U.S. News “Best Nursing Home.”

For the 2018-19 ratings, those 2,975 best nursing homes earned that recognition by being rated “high performing” in either the short-stay rehabilitation or overall ratings and at least “average” in the other. Wisconsin has the highest number on the list, with 176 nursing homes that received either an overall or short-stay rehabilitation high-performing rating. Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island, and Wyoming have the highest proportion of “Best Nursing Homes,” with half of all Medicare- or Medicaid-certified nursing homes in these states receiving a high-performing designation.

"Several million Americans will spend at least some time in a nursing home this year, whether undergoing rehab after a hospital stay or as long-term residents," said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News. "Finding a nursing home that meets an individual's specific needs can be overwhelming. The Best Nursing Home ratings are designed to help potential residents and their families navigate this important decision."

To see how Maine nursing homes were rated go online to U.S. News’ online nursing home finder here

Now in its ninth year, the U.S. News’ nursing home finder offers comprehensive information about care, safety, health inspections, staffing and more for almost all nursing homes in the country. With this tool, individuals can easily conduct a customized search for a highly rated nursing home by location, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, Alzheimer's care and size.

The Nursing Home Finder reflects U.S. News's analysis of data collected and published by the federal government using a methodology defined by U.S. News.

For the 2018-19 ratings, U.S. News introduced a new and first of its kind “short-stay rehabilitation” rating. This new rating aims to provide patients with a clearer view of the quality of care provided by nursing homes to short-stay patients in need of intensive rehabilitation or nursing services before they return home after a surgery, stroke, accident or illness. Out of nearly 13,000 nursing homes that were evaluated, 2,042 earned a high-performing rating in short-stay rehabilitation.

About U.S. News & World Report's methodology

Since its inception in 2009, the U.S. News nursing home ratings have relied on data from Nursing Home Compare, a program run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency that sets and enforces standards for nursing homes. This year, due to CMS' recent move from a self-reported to a payroll-based nurse staffing reporting and a freeze in health inspection data since November 2017, U.S. News modified the way it uses CMS data for evaluating a nursing home's overall performance.

The designation of “best nursing home” is given only to those homes that demonstrate appropriate use of key services and consistent performance in quality measures. Homes needed to receive an overall score from CMS in July 2018 and a staffing rating in either April or July to be eligible for a U.S. News overall rating. Only homes rated high performing in either the overall or short-stay rehabilitation rating AND average or higher in the other rating received a “best nursing home” designation.

The new “short-stay rehabilitation” rating designates nursing homes as high-performing, average or below average in the care they provide to patients staying at the facility for less than 100 days.

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