January 24, 2019
Nursing Home Compare is an effort by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help those in need of nursing home care and their families to find and compare nursing homes certified by Medicare and Medicaid. The website (https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html) contains quality of resident care and staffing information for more than 15,000 nursing homes around the country.
By reviewing the information listed you can you learn how nursing homes have performed on health and fire safety inspections; how the nursing home is staffed and how well the homes care for their residents. The reports are updated monthly but there can be time lags since inspection surveys are generally conducted on a 12 to 15 month average for any facility. (The website also provides information on possible alternatives to a nursing home one might want to look into.) If you are looking for nursing home care it is important to recognize that there are other considerations you want to look into before deciding if the home is right for the person needing it’s services and this may include location, whether or not the Dr. you prefer has privileges at the home, whether or not the home provides services for persons with specific medical and/or other conditions and availability of beds.
You may also want to contact your local Long-Term Care Ombudsman for guidance in looking for a nursing home and although the Ombudsman will not make a recommendation as to which home you should make application, he or she can provide guidance as to what to look for and how best to approach your search. The phone number for the Ombudsman Program is 1-800-834-0598. (CMS also has websites to provide information on comparing home health agencies , hospice services and hospitals, including 130 VA’s medical centers. Services need to be Medicare certified to be included.) Staff of the Ombudsman Program would not be able to provide information on hospice, home health and hospital services but you can call the Aging and Disability Resource Network at 1-866-981-2372 for assistance.