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Kristina Labanauskas
Kristina Labanauskas
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Local Nursing Homes Fall Short in Government Ratings

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, families and caregivers to compare nursing homes with greater ease. Nursing homes receive an overall rating between 1 and 5 stars a separate rating in the areas of health inspections, staffing, and quality measures.

About a quarter of U.S. nursing homes, including 81 in the six-county Chicago area, received one star.

Although these one-star nursing homes meet minimum standards, they are considered “much below average,” according to the CMS rating system.

A recent Chicago Tribune article featured disturbing details of the inspection of a local “one-star” nursing home.

The Berwyn Rehabilitation Center (formerly the Pinnacle Health Care of Berwyn) is one of the area’s worst nursing homes. A surprise inspection in March 2008 resulted in 29 violations and revealed unsettling conditions, including the lobby smelling of urine, residents lying in their own waste and many had bed sores, and staff improperly using side railings.

Just last month, state inspectors returned for the nursing home’s annual review, a surprise 3-day visit, which results should be released soon.

A more complete list of local nursing homes and ratings can be found at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/health/chi-nursinghome-flash,0,2342610.htmlpage.