All of Kentucky's state Veterans Long-Term Care Centers have earned the top rating from the federal agency that oversees long-term care facilities.

"The very highest standard of care for our veterans is not just our goal but what we expect from our superb, dedicated staff every day," said Benjamin Adams, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, which operates four state veterans centers. "We are gratified to receive the Five-Star rating that recognizes the consistently high quality of care for our veterans. Congratulations to everyone at our veterans centers in Wilmore, Hazard, Hanson and Radcliff on this accomplishment."

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and to help identify areas about which you may want to ask questions.

The Nursing Home Compare Web site features a quality rating system that gives each nursing home a rating of between 1 and 5 stars. Nursing homes with 5 stars are considered to have much above average quality, and nursing homes with 1 star are considered to have much below average quality. There is one overall 5-star rating for each nursing home, and a separate rating for each of the following three sources of information:

Health Inspections

The health inspection rating contains the three most recent health inspections and investigations due to complaints. This information is gathered by trained, objective inspectors who go onsite to the nursing home and follow a specific process to determine the extent to which a nursing home has met Medicaid and Medicare's minimum quality requirements. The most recent survey findings are weighted more than the prior year.

Staffing

The staffing rating has information about the number of hours of care provided on average to each resident each day by nursing staff. This rating considers differences in the levels of residents' care need in each nursing home. For example, a nursing home with residents who had more severe needs would be expected to have more nursing staff than a nursing home where the resident needs were not as high.

Quality Measures (QMs)

The quality measure rating has information on 15 different physical and clinical measures for nursing home residents. The QMs offer information about how well nursing homes are caring for their residents' physical and clinical needs.

Kentucky's four state Veterans Long-Term Care Centers include:

• Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore,

• Paul E. Patton Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center in Hazard,

• Joseph E. "Eddie" Ballard Western Kentucky Veterans Center in Hanson, and

• Carl M. Brashear Radcliff Veterans Center in Radcliff.