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Quality in Senior Living

A blog for and about The Joint Commission’s Nursing Care Center and Assisted Living Community accreditation programs.

Newsweek's Top Nursing Homes List Uses Joint Commission Accreditation in Scoring Methodology


A nurse assists a patient at a nursing home.

By Gina Zimmermann, Executive Director, Nursing Care Center and Assisted Living Community Services, The Joint Commission

When Newsweek published its list of the best nursing homes earlier this year, it included a new metric with which the news organization calculated rankings — a score for facilities that are accredited by The Joint Commission.

Newsweek teamed with Statista, a global data research firm, to create the list — “America’s Best Nursing Homes 2023” — ranking the Top 475 facilities out of 11,722 analyzed in the 25 states with the greatest number of facilities.

“Finding a nursing home for a loved one can be a difficult experience,” wrote Nancy Cooper, Newsweek’s global editor-in-chief, in the preface to the list. “The practical and financial issues are complex, and the emotional aspects can sometimes be overwhelming. The continuing threat of COVID-19 isn’t making any of that easier.”

New scoring metric

New in 2023, having Joint Commission accreditation accounted for 5% in the overall rating, which weighted the average of that and the nursing home’s:

  • Performance data provided by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (35%)
  • Reputation (as reported through peer recommendations) (35%)
  • COVID-19 response and protocols, in a score decided by Newsweek and Statista (25%)

This was the first time that Newsweek used accreditation in its scoring model, and The Joint Commission was the only accreditor that was included. In the ranking list’s methodology document, the writers explained that they included the new measure because “accreditations reflect a range of structural and/or quality requirements which are now relevant to the nursing home rankings.”

The Joint Commission Nursing Care Center (NCC) Accreditation program combines an enhanced patient- and resident-centered quality framework with collaborative onsite evaluation to help post-acute care, sub-acute and long-term care facilities proactively find and address vulnerabilities to safeguard patients and residents. It also helps facilities minimize the risk of readmissions to hospitals.

NCC standards focus on key care processes that contribute to improved outcomes for all patients and residents, and onsite surveys are conducted by surveyors who are specially trained professionals with experience in nursing homes and specialty certification areas.

Joint Commission accreditation also can help supply a competitive edge in the marketplace, improve risk management and risk reduction, may reduce liability insurance costs, and provide expert insights to help improve business operations — among other benefits.

Congratulations to the 78 Joint Commission-accredited NCCs that made the list of Newsweek’s America’s Best Nursing Homes 2023, including four that were No. 1 in their respective states:

  • River Garden Hebrew Home (Jacksonville, Florida)
  • A.G. Rhodes – Wesley Woods (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • Burgess Square Healthcare & Rehab Centre (Westmont, Illinois)
  • CareOne at Holyoke (Holyoke, Massachusetts)

The benefits of Joint Commission accreditation are clear, from improved staff competency and retention to increased revenue and reimbursement. We are happy to see that our accreditation is considered so vital to the quality and safety of America’s top nursing homes.

Learn more about NCC Accreditation.

Gina Zimmermann is the Executive Director for business development for Nursing Care Center Services and Assisted Living Community Services. In this role, she oversees the strategic direction and performance of the Nursing Care Center and Assisted Living Community Accreditation programs.