An estimated 3.3 million Americans will live in the nation’s nearly 16,000 nursing homes during 2013. That number translates to 1 in 7 people ages 65 and up, and more than 1 in 5 of those 85 and older. They and their families will want and need a way to find a source of the best possible care. For many, it won’t be easy.
To help them, U.S. News has collected meaningful data and ratings about nearly every nursing facility in the United States, and built from them a searchable database designed to highlight the highest-rated homes likely to meet each user’s needs.
The data behind Best Nursing Homes come from Nursing Home Compare, a website run by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS sets and enforces standards for nursing homes enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, as most are. The agency also collects information from states and individual homes and assigns each home (other than a few too new to have built up enough months of data) a rating of one to five stars in each of three categories:
- State-conducted health inspections
- Nursing and physical therapy staffing
- Quality of medical care
On January 2013, 3,036 nursing homes earned an overall rating of five stars from the federal government.
Top Places to Find Nursing Home Care
When it comes to finding a top-quality nursing home, residents of some states face a far easier task than others. While California and nine other states have at least a hundred top-rated nursing homes in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Nursing Homes ratings, several states have only a handful of nursing homes that meet the same standards.