NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 17, 2010

If you pick a Medicare-certified nursing home in Milwaukee, you stand a 62 percent chance of picking one the federal government considers "below average," and there is about a 24 percent chance you'll pick one that's "well below average," says the Milwaukee News Buzz. 

Milwaukee does not compare favorably to some Midwestern cities, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human services database.   For example: 

  • Only 32 percent of nursing homes in Minneapolis-St. Paul rated "below average," a one-star rating in the department's five-star system.
  • Only one home received the dreaded one-star rating in the Twin Cities, as compared to five in Milwaukee, including this state's largest nursing home, Mount Carmel Health and Rehabilitation Center.
  • In 1998, state and federal officials nearly shut down the home over numerous health code violations. 

Inspectors alleged patients were missing medication, losing too much weight, developing too many bedsores and not getting enough help with eating or hygiene.  So far this year, the facility has been cited for failing to supervise patients, address medical concerns, safeguard patients against falls and provide them with suitable rooms, says News Buzz. 

In Madison, the situation is even worse: Half of Medicare-certified nursing homes rate "well below average," and two-thirds fall below average.  A few other Midwestern cities also have relatively high percentages of nursing homes rating below average.  In Indianapolis, exactly two-thirds rate below average.  In Chicago, the statistic is 57 percent. 

Source: Observers, "Don't get old in Milwaukee," Milwaukee News Buzz, June 16, 2010. 

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