The overall quality of nursing homes in New York State has improved, although the number of the highly ranked facilities has dropped slightly.

The new analysis by health-researchers Abt Associates looked at data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Nursing Home Compare website, which ranks the nation's nursing homes from one to five stars. The analysis used data from January 2009 to December 2011.

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Among New York's 631 nursing homes, 13.6 percent received five stars in December 2011. In January 2009, 14.2 percent of the state's nursing homes got five stars. But because the percentage of New York's one-star and two-star nursing homes fell, while the percentage of three-star and four-star homes rose, the state had an overall better quality rating.

To compare nursing homes using Medicare's ratings, go to