Selecting a nursing home for a loved one is an important and complex decision. While most nursing homes are staffed by caring professionals, there are some professionals or facilities that neglect or abuse their residents. In an effort to protect your loved one, you may have visited several different options, spoke with staff and residents and consulted your physician, friends and family for advice.
An important step that many family members miss is the nursing home background check. Many people don’t know where to look or get information regarding inspections, quality of care ratings and staff qualifications and clearances. If you’re interested in pursuing a background check on your loved one’s selected or potential nursing home, read on for more information.
Where can I find background information on a nursing home?
Medicare offers a website, Nursing Home Compare, where you can access information about all Medicare/Medicaid certified nursing homes in the United States. There are over 15,000 nursing homes available for review in the Nursing Home Compare website, and you will likely find the one you’re considering in the database.
What information is available through Nursing Home Compare?
The Nursing Home Compare website offers ratings for each nursing home based on a five-star scale. The data used to calculate stars for a nursing home includes information on health inspections, quality measures and staffing. Viewers on the website can conduct their nursing home background check through information about any fines or penalties a particular nursing home has received and can compare a nursing home’s ratings to other facilities in the area.
Data such as RN or therapist staff hours per resident per day are listed, and then compared against state and national averages. Health code deficiencies and complaints are also listed, as well as statistics related to patient care. Vital statistics including levels of pain experienced by patients, number of influenza vaccines administered and percentage of patients receiving antipsychotic medication or physical restraints are available for review.
Where does the data in Nursing Home Compare come from?
The data in the Nursing Home Compare database is gathered from two sources:
- Minimum Data Set (MDS): This is a national database that contains information reported by nursing homes for each patient receiving care. The data reported by nursing homes to MDS includes resident mental status, overall well-being, physical functionality and general health characteristics. The Nursing Home Compare team uses this data to generate evaluations on the quality of care provided by each nursing home facility.
- Health Inspection database: The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conducts inspections of each nursing home and records findings in this database. Any staffing deficiencies or penalties issued to a nursing home are found here. The information includes results from each home’s three most recent inspections.
What if the nursing home I’m considering isn’t included on Nursing Home Compare?
For nursing homes that are not Medicare of Medicaid certified, state licensing and inspection information may be available for your review. The Medicare.gov website offers a page where you can locate your state’s website to find more information.
What if my loved one is harmed at a nursing home?
If despite conducting a thorough nursing home background check your loved one is injured, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. We handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases and will help you determine what steps you can take to protect your loved one. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.