SANATOGA PA – A first-ever federal government website that compares nursing homes, unveiled Thursday (Dec. 18, 2008) by the agency that oversees the Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs, gives facilities in Sanatoga and Pottstown its lowest overall score for quality among five nursing homes in the 19464 zip code that participate in the public insurance system.
The 130-bed Sanatoga Center owned by Genesis HealthCare Corp., at 225 Evergreen Rd., received only 1 of 5 stars for its overall rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Manor Healthcare Services of Pottstown also received only one star.
Coventry Manor Nursing Home in North Coventry received the best rating in the area, four of five stars. Rounding out the group, with three of five stars each overall, were Pottstown Memorial Medical Center and Manatawny Manor.
The new website, called “Nursing Home Compare,” gives Americans “a hand in the difficult and often emotional task of choosing a nursing home” from among 15,800 such facilities across the country, Reuters News Service reported.
The website reports the ratings, from between one star (the lowest) to five stars (the highest), for each facility based on health inspections, nursing home staffing, quality measures, and overall quality. It also indicates staffing levels and describes whether a facility is for-profit or not-for-profit. Perhaps most importantly for those wrestling with the task of choosing a nursing home, its allows users to compare up to three facilities side-by-side.
Sanatoga Center rated 1 star for overall quality, 3 stars for health inspections, 1 star for nursing home staffing, and 1 star for quality measures. Measures assessed included the percentage of residents who have bed sores after their first 90 days in the home, the number of residents whose mobility worsened after admission, and whether residents received recommended medical care, according to Reuters.
In a recent press release, Sanatoga Center owner Genesis HealthCare – based in Kennett Square PA – claims to be “ranked among the top providers in overall satisfaction and quality clinical care according to national independent research.” Its website made no reference early today to the new comparison system.
The government website also offered detailed information on what it called four “fire safety deficiencies” at Sanatoga Center, although fire safety was not part of its ratings.
“Around 3 million Americans depend on nursing homes at some point during each year to provide life-saving care,” CMS administrator Kerry Weems said in a statement.
The website showed some quirks in usage testing this morning (Friday, Dec. 19, 2008). It refused to display a list of nursing homes within 10 miles of zip code 19464 although several exist, including the five already mentioned. Several misspellings were spotted. And, technically, Coventry Manor is in the 19465 zip code, but appears in the website database as 19464.