Would you boast about being average?

By Steve Moran

We should not assume our consumers are ignorant!

Even if our consumers are ignorant, we should not try to take advantage of that ignorance!

Here Is The Story

A couple of days ago I read a story about a nursing home that was sued over the death of a resident and lost a sizable judgement. I read the story and was curious about who owned the building. A quick Google search got me to the facility homepage and I found this description:

“We currently boast a “3 STAR ” rating on CMS Nursing Home Compare. Stop in and see for yourself! We are happy to show you what makes us different.”

I was startled. “Boast a 3 STAR rating”? I have been in some 5 star buildings that are not all that great and I do appreciate that there are some 3 and 4 star rated buildings that are better than some of the 5 star buildings, but to boast of what could at best be called a middle of the road star rating seems . . .





Even worse, when I go to the website “Nursing Home Compare,”
 They have an overall rating of only 2.  

In Fairness

This does seem to be a community that is coming back from a less than perfect history and one of the challenges a comeback community has is that the star rating will always lag. And so . . . it may very well be that this is today, a great place.


Ok . . . I guess I should not exactly ask why they are doing this because I know. They have problems but want to hide the problems. They want, they need residents.  

More than anything else it suggest . . . maybe rightly so, that consumers are not very sophisticated and might actually believe that 3 stars is good and not average or below average. In fact what 3 stars mean is that they are better than just 36% of all nursing homes in the US (those with 1 or 2 star ratings).

Truth and Transparency

I think it is ok to assume consumers are ignorant, but we should not assume they are stupid nor should we ever be willing to take advantage of our consumers lack of knowledge. In fact that lack of knowledge should be seen as a sacred opportunity to educate and help people through a time of crisis.   

I don’t know this facility at all, I don’t know the leadership behind the facility and it may very well be that they are doing a great job of doing all these things.

I just find myself bothered and confused that anyone would brag about being, at best, in the middle of the pack.

Your Thoughts?