A dozen Westchester County nursing homes recently received the top rating in a national survey.
U.S. News & World Report evaluated nearly 16,000 skilled nursing homes across the country, including 624 in New York. Two thousand were ranked as the best.
Forty-three homes were evaluated in Westchester, and 29 percent got high scores.
The best ranged from places with 12 beds to 296. They include for-profit, non-profit and state-run facilities.
The top scores went to:
- Bayberry Care Center, New Rochelle.
- Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, Yonkers.
- Field Home – Holy Comforter, Cortlandt Manor.
- Kendal on Hudson, Sleepy Hollow.
- New York State Veterans’ Home at Montrose.
- North Westchester Restorative Therapy & Nursing Center, Mohegan Lake.
- Northern Westchester Hospital Transitional Care Unit, Mount Kisco.
- Schaffer Extended Care Center, New Rochelle.
- Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center, Ossining.
- United Hebrew geriatric center of New Rochelle.
- Victoria Home, Ossining.
- Westchester Meadows, Valhalla.
On any given day, nursing homes house 1.4 million people. Among people who are 85 or older, one in ten are in nursing homes.
The publication based its ratings on data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Most nursing homes receive federal payments, so the agency rates them on three categories: health inspections, nurse staffing and medical quality.
U.S. News calculates the data from more than a year and it puts a greater emphasis on medical quality measurements.
Health inspections are done by state agencies, typically every 12 to 15 months. They include investigations of complaints and reviews of food safety, infection control, proper skin care, medication management and quality of life issues.
Nurse staffing is a count of how much time nurses and assistants spend with patients. To receive the highest rating of five stars, nursing staff must provide nearly four and a half hours of care a day to each resident, including about 43 minutes by registered nurses.
Medical quality covers 18 indicators, such as urinary tract infections and falls.
Nursing homes are rated on a scale of one to five stars. Facilities that receive from 4.5 to 5.0 stars overall qualify as a U.S. News best nursing home.
The publication and the federal agency both say that the ratings are merely a starting point. Families and caregivers are encouraged to visit nursing homes, observe residents and question the staff before selecting a home.
The Medicare agency cautions against transferring a resident based solely on ratings, because of the challenges of adjusting to a new facility.
The complete U.S. News ratings are at http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes/search
The federal Medicare ratings are at https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html.