TN Nursing Homes Rank 5th Worst in Nation

Poorly staffed nursing homes have put Tennessee among the worst in the nation for quality of long-term care for a second year, a federal report shows. That’s because Tennessee has one of the lowest staffing requirements in the country; less than half of what Medicare recommends. But it is unlikely that facilities’ staffing will get better anytime soon, in part because state law would have to require higher staffing levels, and funding for nursing homes would have to increase. Advocates say the staffing level required by state law is not enough to care for nursing home residents, and that carries consequences: ignored bedside calls, medication errors and unanswered questions. Under Tennessee law, each patient should have at least two hours of direct care each day, including 24 minutes of a licensed nurse’s time. Standards in neighboring states vary, with Mississippi requiring 2.8 hours of direct care and Arkansas mandating more than 3.8 hours.

Medicare’s consumer-friendly rating system follows an easy-to-understand one-to-five ranking system for each of its ten nursing home measures. The nursing home reports are derived from thousands of state health inspection records, nursing home complaints, and other quality measures such as nursing home staff’s hours, whether residents receive their flu shots, have lost weight, bedsores, or other signs of neglect and abuse. Yet some Tennessee organizations, such as the Tennessee Association for Services and Homes for the Aging, find the rating system too subjective and slight the ranking system for being unable to gauge improving conditions in nursing homes.

Around 52 long-term homes in Middle Tennessee have one or two star ratings, according to Medicare’s web site. Those ratings mean those homes are below average or much below average.

Medicare’s web site even stated, people need to keep in mind these inspections cover a short span of time. They can either get much better or worse very quickly.  Click below for a guide to choosing a nursing home put out by Medicare.  If you have a relative that has been the victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home, its imperative that you seek an attorney to assist you.

About Roland

Roland was born in Nashville, Tennessee and raised in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. The first few years he resided in Paris, France with his mother who was French. In Hendersonville, he attended Beech Senior High School where played soccer and studied in the honors curriculum. Subsequently, he pursued two majors in political science and economics while graduating in three years.

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