USA Today reported that more than 560 of the nation’s nursing homes have not improved care for the past three years from a one-star federal government rating — the lowest on a five-star scale — even though most homes improved, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal data.  See ratings for nursing homes.

The lowest overall rating is awarded to homes "much below average" compared with others in their state, according to CMS.   The star ratings are part of a broader federal effort to increase transparency for consumers of health care.  The federal government contracts with states to inspect nursing homes about once a year. The star ratings combine scores of data points, including information from annual inspections, quality measures and staff time spent with residents.

USA TODAY analyzed the ratings for 15,700 nursing homes for the past three years. Among the findings:

•Some homes are stuck at the bottom: 564 homes — representing 77,315 beds — received one star in each of seven reporting periods analyzed over three years. But 448 homes received the best overall rating — five stars — during each period.

Among the consistently low performers, almost two-thirds were for-profit nursing homes that are owned by chains. That’s a higher share than the 40% of all nursing homes in for-profit chains.

Lower staff turnover can create better care because employees become familiar with the routines and needs of nursing home residents.

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