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County-by-county quality rankings

Associated Press | 1/7/2009, 4:01 a.m.

The quality of nursing homes varied widely by county, though higher income areas tended to have better homes, based on an Associated Press review of data released by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency gave five stars to nursing homes with quality “much above” average and one star to homes with quality “much below” average. The AP review looked at counties with more than 10 nursing homes, excluding Dukes, Franklin, Hampshire and Nantucket counties.

Percent of nursing homes ranked below average (one or two stars):
Hampden - 56 percent
Berkshire - 53 percent
Barnstable - 45 percent
Worcester - 44 percent
Suffolk - 36 percent
Bristol - 35 percent
Norfolk - 34 percent
Plymouth - 27 percent
Middlesex - 25 percent
Essex - 16 percent

Percent of nursing homes ranked above average (four or five stars):
Essex - 61 percent
Middlesex - 59 percent
Plymouth - 48 percent
Suffolk - 45 percent
Bristol - 37 percent
Norfolk - 34 percent
Barnstable - 33 percent
Berkshire - 33 percent
Worcester - 27 percent
Hampden - 25 percent

Percent of five-star nursing homes:
Suffolk - 33 percent
Middlesex - 27 percent
Berkshire - 20 percent
Essex - 15 percent
Norfolk - 14 percent
Bristol - 13 percent
Worcester - 12 percent
Barnstable - 11 percent
Plymouth - 9 percent
Hampden - 6 percent

Percent of one-star nursing homes:
Berkshire - 33 percent
Hampden - 25 percent
Worcester - 25 percent
Bristol - 18 percent
Barnstable - 17 percent
Middlesex - 12 percent
Plymouth - 12 percent
Essex - 9 percent
Suffolk - 6 percent
Norfolk - 4 percent

Median income (2007)*:
Norfolk - $78,976
Middlesex - $74,558
Plymouth - $70,606
Nantucket - $66,782
Worcester - $61,791
Essex - $61,395
Barnstable - $59,365
Dukes - $57,553
Hampshire - $55,340
Bristol - $54,635
Franklin - $51,252
Suffolk - $49,853
Berkshire - $47,136
Hampden - $45,858

* Statewide median income in 2007 - $62,383

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Center.

(Associated Press)