Chicago Nursing Homes And The Star Rating System

Nursing home ratings, particularly regarding Chicago area nursing homes, is discussed on the “Chicago Metropolitan Area Nursing Homes” page.

The Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rates nursing homes on a 5-star scale, with “5-star” ratings being the purportedly highest-quality nursing homes, whereas “1-star” nursing homes are the lowest-rated.  These rating are important for many reasons, including that they are often used in making decisions as to which nursing home should be chosen. 

However, an article in today’s (August 24, 2014) New York Times, titled “Medicare Star Ratings Allow Nursing Homes to Game the System” discusses the “star” rating system and identifies potential vulnerabilities in the methodology employed.

A couple of excerpts from the article:

The Medicare ratings, which have become the gold standard across the industry, are based in large part on self-reported data by the nursing homes that the government does not verify. Only one of the three criteria used to determine the star ratings — the results of annual health inspections — relies on assessments from independent reviewers. The other measures — staff levels and quality statistics — are reported by the nursing homes and accepted by Medicare, with limited exceptions, at face value.

The ratings also do not take into account entire sets of potentially negative information, including fines and other enforcement actions by state, rather than federal, authorities, as well as complaints filed by consumers with state agencies. Last year, the State of California, for example, fined Rosewood $100,000 — the highest penalty possible — for causing the 2006 death of a woman who was given an overdose of a powerful blood thinner.

Addition discussion – as well as a diagram depicting the components of the star rating system – can be seen in the New York Times article mentioned above.

As well, the McKnight’s article of August 29, 2014, titled “The nursing home survey system is about to get a much closer look” also discusses various related issues.


Should you or someone you care for experience Illinois nursing home abuse or neglect – or a nursing home accident – please contact the Elman Joseph Law Group to discuss the situation and to see what legal remedies may exist.

Elman Joseph Law Group is a personal injury law firm based in Chicago, and is known for its litigation (court trial) capabilities.  This is important for your lawsuit because if we are unable to attain an appropriate settlement, we have a proven track record of achieving highly attractive court verdicts.

In fact, because of this litigation capability, many well-known law firms choose to have Elman Joseph Law Group litigate cases. 

To immediately speak directly to Tony Elman, Lead Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, call (773) 392-8182 at any time.  There is no fee for this legal consultation.  

Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC handles Chicago area and other Illinois personal injury lawsuits as well as wrongful death lawsuits.