U.S. News Names Best Nursing Homes for 2021-22
U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in health care rankings, today released the 2021-22 Best Nursing Homes. As nursing homes and facilities across the country continue to grapple with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. News remains at the forefront of providing data-driven information and guidance to help residents, families and caregivers understand their long- and short-term care options.
The 12th edition of the U.S. News Best Nursing Homes combines comprehensive information about care, COVID-19 vaccination requirements for residents and staff, flu and pneumonia vaccination rates, and infection control violations listed on the resident safety summary. Individuals can easily conduct customized research for a highly rated nursing home by location, size and Medicare and Medicaid coverage.
This year’s methodology includes an emphasis on homes meeting certain standards of patient safety, which could limit a home’s ability to achieve a ‘High-Performing’ rating. These standards include a minimum threshold for the staff COVID-19 vaccination rate, overuse of antipsychotic drugs and frequent visits to the emergency department, among other criteria. Homes that have below a 75% COVID-19 staff vaccination rate are not considered a leading facility. A significant percentage of Short-Term Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care programs that would otherwise have qualified as ‘High-Performing’ were downgraded at the time of publication.
“U.S. News takes pride in providing relevant, up-to-date information when making any sort of health care decision,” says Zach Adams, health data engineer at U.S. News. “Profiles now include resident and staff COVID-19 vaccination rates alongside information on how to pay for a facility. This important information can help families, residents and caregivers make a decision that keeps safety and accessibility at the highest priority.”
This year, California has the highest number on the list, with 201 nursing homes that received a High-Performing Rating in Short-Term Rehabilitation and 94 designated as High-Performing in Long-Term Care, followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. Hawaii and the District of Columbia have the highest proportion of Best Nursing Homes with at least half of all Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing homes in these states receiving a High-Performing designation in either Short-Term Rehabilitation or Long-Term Care, or both. Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware also had at least a third of their states nursing facilities awarded a High Performing rating.
The Best Nursing Home finder features ratings on both long-term and short-term care. The Long-Term Care Rating provides families and prospective residents who need help with daily activities with analysis and information regarding the quality of care provided by nursing homes. This insight, alongside that of a physician and visits to a home can help families make the best choice for their loved ones. The rating includes data on staffing, success in preventing ER visits and pneumonia vaccination rates, among other metrics. Out of 13,175 nursing homes that received a Long-Term Care Rating, 1,063 were designated as High-Performing. The Short-Term Care Rating incorporates measures of quality including consistency of registered nurse staffing, use of antipsychotic drugs and success in preventing falls. For 2021-22, 13,500 facilities received a Short-Term Rating, while only 1,651 homes earned a High-Performing Rating.
In addition to helping families find the best nursing home for their loved one, U.S. News published pieces on understanding vaccine mandates in nursing homes, evaluating a nursing home’s disaster plan and where your money goes when paying for a nursing home.
The Best Nursing Homes reflect U.S. News’ analysis of data collected and published by the federal government using a methodology defined by U.S. News that evaluates factors that U.S. News has determined most impact resident care, safety and outcomes. All measures in both ratings were developed from publicly available data from CMS as of July 2021. COVID-19 vaccine information reflects publicly available data as of October 2021. For more information about this year’s updates and new ratings, please refer to the methodology. U.S. News also profiles Assisted Living Communities, which in many cases provide services that overlap with traditional nursing homes.