CNS – Letter grades similar to those posted in restaurants may be used soon at nursing and convalescent homes, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors said.
The board has approved a motion by Supervisor Michael Antonovich ordering the Department of Public Health to report in 60 days on the viability of inspecting and posting grades at these homes.
“Having a system to ensure that our convalescent nursing homes are meeting the standards that would be appropriate for a loved one would be just as important as (having) a grading system for our restaurants,” he said.
The department’s District Environmental Services agency oversees the grading system for thousands of restaurants, markets and bakeries in the county.
Health officials said it was likely the same agency would supervise the grading system for nursing and convalescent homes.
Christina Clem, communications coordinator for the American Association of Retired People, applauded the board’s efforts to grade nursing and convalescent homes.
“Any tool that individuals can use to discern whether it’s a good facility or not is beneficial,” she said.
Last week AARP submitted testimony to Congress recommending ways to improve nursing homes.
Some of the recommendations included; better documentation of nursing home ownership; requiring better information on staffing levels and turnovers at nursing homes and finding more efficient ways of getting this information to the public.
“In an industry where tens of thousands of our elderly and physically impaired constituents live, it is imperative that these facilities are graded and the results of these evaluations published,” Antonovich said in the motion.