Nursing Home Compare, a website accessible through our Federal government's Medicare website, provides star-based ratings for all licensed nursing homes in the U.S.–including nursing homes in Hawaii.  These ratings are even adopted by U.S.News & World Report in its listing of the best nursing homes in Hawaii.  While these rankings may be the best currently available anywhere, BEWARE that they do not guarantee a good experience for you or your loved one. 

According to a recent New York Times article, the star system is largely based on self-reporting, and the system can be "gamed" by nursing homes in order to make themselves look better than they really are.  The article details how a 5-star California nursing home in California has been fined $100,000 relating to the 2006 death of a resident and was the subject of more than 100 consumer complaints between 2009 and 2013.

So where do you go for information?  A recent Wall Street Journal article provides some helpful guidance, but it also refers you to the problemmatic Nursing Home Compare website.  Just remember that there is no substitute for actually going to prospective nursing homes, interviewing the staff, observing caregiver-resident interactions, and asking trusted friends and neighbors about their real-world experiences with those nursing homes.

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