Virginia Nursing Homes Report Card: Grade D
If ever there were a "dislike" button, this report card of Virginia nursing homes would warrant it. Families for Better Care evaluated the quality of nursing homes across the county. Virginia nursing homes overall scored a D when it came to quality indicators like deficiencies and staffing ratios. Over 90% of Virginia nursing homes had deficiencies Virginia's worst ranking came in the category of RN hours per patient where Virginia nursing homes ranked an F as the 43 worst in the county.
It is important to note that Virginia's nursing home grade of D reflects an average of all the nursing homes in the state. We clearly have a lot of nursing homes with serious quality of care problems, but it is not a reflection on every nursing home in the state. Practically, this means that families have a serious challenge when selecting a nursing home. Oftentimes a nursing home is selected simply because it is the closest nursing home with a bed available. Convenience is important, but in light of this nursing home report card it should not be the only factor or even a primary factor.
It is challenging to find a good nursing home. The facility should be toured, but a tour can be misleading. One nursing home that that I sued for horrendous care causing a Stage IV pressure ulcer tried to get into evidence pictures of the nursing home with blooming flowers throughout the lobby and the dining room. The case settled before the nursing home got a chance to argue to the judge why those photographs had anything to do with whether the nursing home committed malpractice.
Instead of relying on a tour and a convenient location, families must do some digging into the quality of the nursing home. A good starting point is the Medicare website. Medicare ranks individual nursing homes on a five star scale. You can search by facility name or location. In addition to giving nursing homes star ratings, the website contains links to nursing home checklists, guides for selecting a nursing home, and even alternatives to nursing home care.
On my website, you can review FAQs on the rights of victims of nursing home abuse including the statute of limitations, compensatory and punitive damages that can be recovered in a nursing home lawsuit, and information about our background representing victims of nursing home abuse.