One to five: CMS website rates Chenango nursing homes

CHENANGO COUNTY – An new, online comparison service that is designed to help families choose a nursing home for their loved ones gave facilities in Chenango County a wide range of scores.

The report, made available in late December on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website, rates the quality of care found in the nation’s 16,000 Medicare and/or Medicaid-certified nursing homes. The facilities are rated based on health inspection results, quality measures and staffing levels. An overall rating is also provided.

Chase Memorial Nursing Home New Berlin received a perfect score of five possible stars. Oxford’s New York State Veterans’ Home received 4 out of 5 and Valley View Manor Nursing Home in Norwich received 2 out of 5 stars.

Chenango Memorial Hospital and the Pearl and Everett Gilmour Health Care Facility faired poorly, however. Each received only one star on the U.S. government’s website.

Chase’s success is owed, in part, to the longevity of staff employment and an extremely low turnover rate, said Administrator Roger J. Halbert. Most management-level employees have been on staff for an average of 20-plus years. Halbert himself has worked at Chase for 37 years and said the facility’s food service manager and head of house keeping are both 35-year veterans.

Halbert also attributed the nursing home’s high rating to its special programs. He said that in 1992, the home began implementing the Eden Alternative program, which brought senior citizens in contact with children, pets and gardening and plants. The program become so popular it was adopted by other area nursing homes and was eventually made into an international program.

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