Elderly Woman in a Nursing Home

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a new nursing home five star ranking system. Local nursing homes are subject to federal standards like CMS as participants of Medicare or Medicaid. The new rating system focuses on assisting families in finding the best fit nursing home for their loved ones. Many Rhode Island (RI) nursing homes were devastated to see that the new system lowered star ratings. Now only 32% of nursing homes in Rhode Island hold a five star rating, while 28% of nursing homes in Rhode Island now have only a two star rating.

How Does the New Rating System Differ from Previous System?

Elderly Woman in a Nursing Home with a good Federal Rating SystemThe rating system helps families appropriately assess and compare the best facilities for their loved ones. The new system is the same five star concept with modifications to the method of calculating ratings for three categories: health inspections, staffing, and quality of care. The health inspection rating is measured by the three most recent health inspections and the past 36 months of complaint inspections for each nursing facility.

The staffing rating now has more of an emphasis on registered nurse staffing. For example, a nursing home may receive a one star rating for staffing if they report four or more days in the quarter with no registered nurses (RNs) at the facility. Lastly, the calculation for quality of care ratings added long-stay hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits, while removing long-stay physical restraints as a measurement. The new rating system is essentially the same but revamped to provide better quality comparisons for consumers and residents.

Signs of an Abusive Nursing Home Facility

It is important that you know the top three signs of nursing home abuse.

First, one of the easier signs to spot, is cleanliness. Be sure to notice your loved one’s bedding, clothes, and living space. Many times dirty bedding and clothes can lead to significant health problems in elderly patients, such as bed sores.

Abusive Nursing Home Facility Staff Member

Second, you want to take notice of any new injuries to your loved one that are not easily explainable. If your loved one has a new injury that they cannot explain, it may be a sign of nursing home abuse. Another good indication of such abuse is recognizing how much privacy staff give you and your loved. If staff are hovering, then it is likely they fear your loved one will disclose abuse to you.

Finally, be sure to take note when a nursing home facility gives you a difficult time in seeing your loved one during normal visiting hours. Apprehension to allow visitation may indicate efforts to hide abuse. If you follow each of these steps and think your loved one may have been or still is being abused in their nursing home facility, you should call an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer right away.

Contact an Experience Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing Home Abuse LawyerIf you or a loved one has sustained injury or death from nursing home abuse, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, wrongful death (in some cases), among other loses. Our firm is working with experienced nursing home abuse lawyers in RI and there is no fee unless you win a settlement or award. Contact us 24/7 toll free or fill out a contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.


  1. https://www.wpri.com/call-12-for-action/some-nursing-homes-lose-stars-as-new-ranking-system-goes-into-effect/2006902543
  2. https://www.cms.gov/medicare/provider-enrollment-and-certification/certificationandcomplianc/fsqrs.html
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Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 16 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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