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New York Times Slams Federal Rating System for Nursing Homes

A scathing March 13, 2021 article by the New York Times – In U.S. nursing homes, where Covid-19 killed scores, even reports of maggots and rape don’t dock five-star ratings – bluntly declared that the federal government’s five-star rating system for nursing homes “is broken.” The Times described five-star rated nursing homes with residents who had bone-deep bed sores and others who were reportedly raped, drugged, abused and seriously injured due to mistreatment. Moreover, it documented operators routinely gaming the ratings by submitting inflated staffing data and falsified resident care information that makes facilities seem cleaner and safer than they are. Because operators could score high ratings without improving their care, it concluded that nursing homes may have been unprepared for the pandemic. More than 130,000 U.S. nursing home residents have died of Covid-19, and the Times’s analysis found that people at five-star facilities were roughly as likely to die of the disease as those at one-star homes.