Non-profit nursing homes are more likely to provide higher levels of care for residents than for-profit entities, according to the Consumer Reports Nursing Home Quality Monitor. The recently released report also finds that independently run homes are apt to serve residents better than chains.

The report lists a state-by-state list of nursing homes that prospective patients and families should consider (deemed higher quality) as well as those to avoid (problematic).

Part of the Consumer Reports Nursing Home Guide – featured in the August 2006 issue of the print magazine and online – the Quality Monitor facility scores are based on three broad categories of criteria:

  • Staffing levels – a weighted sum of nursing hours for RNs, LPNs/LVNs, and nurse’s aides.
  • Deficiencies cited in state inspection surveys – indicators of substandard quality of care, actions that cause harm or pose risk of harm to residents, or failure to provide access to state inspection survey results to residents or families.
  • Quality indicators – measures that intend to show quality of care. Examples include porportion of residents that spent most of their time in bed, showed a decline in daily activity level, developed ulcers, or became incontinent.

“The Deficient Dozen” names facilities that have appeared on Consumer Report’s list of nursing homes to avoid throughout the past five years. Three of these facilities are located in California, and two in Ohio. The rest are scattered throughout the country.

Only seven states in the U.S. do not have the authority to fine nursing homes that fail to provide proper care to residents, according to the survey. They are: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wyoming.