According to a Washington Post story, the federal government is now making it tougher for nursing homes to score top ratings on a public report card.  That’s because it’s raising the standards on a variety of quality measures it evaluates including increasing the scrutiny of nursing homes’ use of antipsychotic drugs to control behavioral problems.

The government website, Nursing Home Compare, which helps consumers evaluate nursing homes on a one to five star rating system, is an important tool for assessing a nursing home. However, critics charge they rely too much on data that is self-reported and as a result, many homes get top ratings.

According to the article, the government is requiring nursing homes to meet higher standards to garner the high scores. The new ratings will be posted online on Friday.

Nursing Home Compare rates nursing homes in three major categories: government inspections, staffing levels and quality measures.

In addition to researching a nursing home via online tools,  it’s also important to do an unannounced visit, talk to family members with loved ones in the home, and check with federal and state agencies.

The injuries and consequences that result from neglect in nursing homes can be devastating. If you or a loved one has experienced neglect while a resident of a nursing home, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in nursing home cases and who has the resources to vigorously pursue justice on your behalf. For a free consultation, please contact attorney Albert Lechner at (904) 722-2228 or