Feds Slam Nursing Homes for '1-Star' Care

By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2009 5:04 PM CST
The federal government gave about a quarter of U.S. nursing homes one star out of five in its new rating system.   (Shutter Stock)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Rife with mistreated patients and poor conditions, nearly one quarter of US nursing homes received 1 out of 5 stars in a new Washington rating program. “The conditions described are grim and, at times, deadly,” Sam Roe writes in the Chicago Tribune of Illinois’ one-star homes. Cold food, useless staff, and late-night noise mar the low-scale facilities, Roe found. One reeked of urine and left patients to linger in their own filth.

"This nursing home was really bad," said its director of nursing. Workers “were punching in and doing nothing.” Despite recent improvements, one obese man died after being suffocated by his bed’s side rail. “Accidents do happen,” the director explained, but patients said staffers responded to complaints by pointing to a nearby cemetery. Critics call the star rankings superficial and misleading.