Families for Better Care, a Florida-based nursing home resident advocacy group, published the first-ever state-by-state nursing home report card.

The group scored, ranked and graded states on eight different federal quality measures ranging from the percentage of facilities with severe deficiencies to the number of hours frontline caregivers averaged per resident per day.

The report has generated a lot of interest and garnered coverage on CBS Evening news –

“We’re excited about getting this report into the hands of public officials, nursing home owners, advocates, and — most importantly — residents and their families,” said Brian Lee, Families for Better Care’s executive director.

“Our goal is to applaud those states that provide good care while motivating improvement for those that score poorly.”

Top nursing home states included Alaska, Rhode Island and New Hampshire while Texas, Louisiana and Indiana hit rock bottom.

“A distinctive trend differentiated the good states from the bad states,” Lee exclaimed. “States whose nursing homes staffed at higher levels ranked far better than those with fewer staffing hours.”

Three states (Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine) scored “superior” grades in every staffing measure and each ranked among America’s best nursing home states. Conversely, of those four states with failing marks (Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas) each scored below average grades.

“The data reflect what academicians, residents, families, and ombudsmen have heralded for years; the higher the staffing levels, the better the care," Lee explained.

Other key findings included:

  • More professional nursing staff are needed—Only seven states provided more than one hour of professional nursing care per resident per day.
  • An abundant lack of staffing—96 percent of states offered residents fewer than three hours of direct resident care per day.
  • Numerous violations—Regulators cited 90 percent of nursing homes one or more deficiencies.
  • Widespread abuse and neglect—One in five nursing homes abused, neglected or mistreated residents in almost half of all states.

“Slipshod care has festered for decades in far too many of our state’s nursing homes, culminating into thousands of painful or deadly blunders for elderly and disabled residents,” Lee stated. “It’s beyond time that states take a hard look at their nursing home care and figure out what’s working so residents receive safer, more affordable care.”

he 2013 Nursing Home Report Card is available for download at