Ten nursing homes on Long Island rank among the best in...

Ten nursing homes on Long Island rank among the best in New York, according to a national study by U.S. News & World Report. Credit: Newsday/Jessica Rotkiewicz

Ten Long Island nursing homes rank among those considered by U.S. News & World Report to be among the best in New York, according to a nationwide report released Tuesday by the publication.

Across the state, a total of 56 nursing homes made the list for high quality.

The state’s top nursing homes were selected out of 606 such facilities. Top nursing homes were graded based on the results of state-conducted health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality of medical care, according to U.S. News.

Nursing homes were also judged from data on resident care, safety and quality of life, according to the study. The facilities were graded as well on overall staffing, the percentage of patients taking prescribed antipsychotic drugs and the number of hospital emergency room visits.

Long-term and short-term care facilities from Long Island on the list included: Belair Care Center in Bellmore, Five Towns Premier Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Woodmere, Grand Pavilion for Rehabilitation & Nursing at Rockville Centre, Huntington Hills Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Melville, Jefferson’s Ferry in South Setauket, John T Mather Memorial Hospital Transitional Care Unit in Port Jefferson, Mount Sinai South Nassau Transitional Care Unit in Oceanside, North Shore LIJ Orzac Center for Rehab in Valley Stream, Northwell Health Stern Family Center for Rehabilitation in Manhasset and Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation in New Hyde Park.

U.S. News, which has compiled the best nursing home list since 2009, evaluated 15,000 nursing homes nationwide for its latest rankings.

The nursing homes on the list "have a track record of achieving better outcomes for patients and residents, and maximizing the amount of care they receive from nurses and other staff,” said Daniel Lara Agudelo, a U.S. News health data analyst quoted in a publication news release

But questions remain about how much can really be learned about the Long Island facilities that made the list.

The best way to analyze a nursing home is through repeated visits, said Jeffrey Reynolds, CEO of the Garden City-based Family and Children’s Association, which includes nursing home advocates and ombudsmen.

“We don’t usually recommend going to magazines to choose a nursing home,” Reynolds said, noting Medicare.gov gives star ratings, health inspections, and data on staffing and other measures.

A more objective and authoritative way to find the best facility, he said, is "to do your homework.”

The state health department also keeps records of safety inspections, site visits and complaints. But he encouraged families to question nursing home staff, and other families, and to visit often at different times to monitor staffing.

Nothing can replace "going to a nursing home and talking to staff, patients and families about what their experiences are,” Reynolds said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic led more people to become mindful of nursing home safety.

“I think nursing homes' reputations have suffered and more people worry about staffing with a heightened awareness,” Reynolds said. “Every time a family is considering a placement it is usually as a last resort. No one wants to put their loved one in a place that isn’t safe."

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