Nursing Home Compare

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, December 2008

From the press release:
For the first time in history, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released quality ratings for each of the nation’s 15,800 nursing homes that participate in Medicare or Medicaid.

Consulting with a panel of experts from academia, patient advocacy and nursing home provider groups, CMS developed the rating system based on each nursing home’s performance in three critical areas:

* Health inspection surveys. Each year state and federal surveyors conduct about 15,800 on-site, comprehensive assessments of each nursing home’s health care services and compliance with federal/state rules. These surveys are designed to help protect the health and safety of residents, including resident’s rights and general quality of life. Surveyors also conduct about 50,000 complaint investigations each year. Information from the most recent three years of survey findings were used to develop the ratings.
* Quality measures. The quality rating system uses 10 key quality measures out of the 19 that can be found on the Nursing Home Compare Web site. Areas examined include the percent of at-risk residents who have pressure ulcers (bed sores) after their first 90 days in the nursing home, the number of residents whose mobility worsened after admission, and whether residents received the proper medical care.
* Staffing information. There is strong evidence that low staffing levels can comprise the level of patient care in a nursing home and is considered an important indicator of quality. This measure reports the number of hours of nursing and other staff care per patient per day. This measure is adjusted to account for the level of illness and services required by each facility’s residents.

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