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According to a Washington Post story, the federal government is now making it tougher for nursing homes to score top ratings on a public report card.  That’s because it’s raising the standards on a variety of quality measures it evaluates including increasing the scrutiny of nursing homes’ use of antipsy­chotic drugs to control behav­ioral problems.

The government website, Nursing Home Compare, which helps consumers evaluate nursing homes on a one to five star rating system, is an important tool for assessing a nursing home. However, critics charge they rely too much on data that is self-reported and as a result, many homes get top ratings.

According to the article, the government is requiring nursing homes to meet higher standards to garner the high scores. The new ratings will be posted online on Friday.

Nursing Home Compare rates nursing homes in three major categories: government inspec­tions, staffing levels and quality measures.

In addition to researching a nursing home via online tools,  it’s also important to do an unannounced visit, talk to family members with loved ones in the home, and check with federal and state agencies.

The injuries and conse­quences that result from neglect in nursing homes can be devas­tating. If you or a loved one has experi­enced neglect while a resident of a nursing home, it is important to consult with an attorney experi­enced in nursing home cases and who has the resources to vigor­ously pursue justice on your behalf. For a free consul­tation, please contact attorney Albert Lechner at (904) 722-2228 or lechner@terrellhogan.com