California shines in ‘Best Nursing Homes’ annual report

U.S. News & World Report released its fifth annual Best Nursing Homes rankings today, a compilation of data on more than 15,000 nursing facilities across the country. The rankings allow users to search by state, by major metropolitan area, and in many cases, by region.

California claimed the top spot this year, having twice as many high-rated facilities as any other state. Nearly one-third of all nursing homes in the San Francisco metro area and 27 percent of facilities in the San Jose area earned the top rank of five stars. Even in the Los Angeles metro area, which had the highest number of facilities of any metro area in the state by far, twenty percent of nursing facilities (96 of 467) received the highest marks.

A sampling of other metro rankings across the country, showing the number of five-star facilities out of the total facilities in the city:

  • Atlanta: 23/123
  • Baltimore: 24/98
  • Boston: 93/307
  • Cleveland: 36/179
  • Denver: 26/89
  • Houston: 9/153
  • Miami/Ft. Lauderdale:  40/145
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul: 37/142
  • Nashville: 10/71
  • Phoenix: 25/87
  • Seattle: 27/99

Choosing the best nursing home is about more than the numbers, however. The online-only publication also provides advice on how to learn more about skilled nursing facilities and what warning signs to watch for, including these tips:

  • Visit homes at different times and on different days of the week to make sure residents are occupied throughout the day
  • Look for signs that staff has a close relationship with residents, such as calling them by name and making sure they eat
  • Ask to see inspection reports, then ask how any safety or health problems were resolved
  • Review hidden costs, such as physical therapy or dentist appointments

The U.S. News & World Report ranking results are available online at The rankings are based on data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Nursing Home Compare.

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