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Help Guide for Nursing Home Ratings – Three Steps to Begin (READ ME)

Three steps to help you use the Consumer Health Ratings guide for nursing home ratings:

1. Check the federal government’s Nursing Home Compare site (at Medicare care-compare), and compare the star ratings (and details) for the nursing homes you’re interested in.

2. Visit your state’s web site to see inspection reports and complaints on nursing homes in your county and county-wide averages.

3. Check the list of Special Focus Facilities (SFFs). Is this nursing home on it? If so, do a deep dive on what is happening at the nursing home before choosing it. SFFs and Candidates for the SFF program have a history of serious quality problems. See what options you have and plan to visit the facilities you’re interested in, before you decide.

Nursing Home Compare (all states) 2022 Editor's Pick

Free 5-star ratings from Nursing Home Compare for nursing homes that are Medicare or Medicaid certified and provide skilled nursing care. Quality ratings, nursing staffing and CNA hours per resident day, and results from survey inspection reports are updated with 2022 data. If you cannot find the nursing home you’re interested in, the facility might not accept Medicare and Medicaid patients. A one-star rating on the inspections means that nursing home is in the bottom 20% of all nursing homes. Check your state reports for additional information. Consumers can also ask the nursing facility to share their reports on resident and family satisfaction. Good nursing homes welcome your inquiry. Nursing Home Compare is now part of Medicare’s Care Compare mega-site.

CMS Public List of Nursing Homes with Serious Quality Problems – SFF (2022) Editor's Pick

CMS lists nursing homes in any state and District of Columbia that have a history of serious quality problems. These Special Focus Facilities (SFF) have been officially entered into the federal government’s SFF program to monitor care. Homes on the list may have a history of “yo-yo” compliance, with a good survey followed by substandard quality on the next, thus unable to sustain good care. Some nursing homes are listed as Showing Improvement or having graduated out of the program. In addition, CMS now reports hundreds of nursing homes (nearly 7 pages) that are candidates for the SFF program, based on quality issues over the prior 3 years. Up to 30 nursing homes per state are on the Special Focus Facility Candidate list (Table F). These nursing homes are likely just as troubled as those in the SFF program. Beware if your nursing home is on the SFF list. Download the “SFF Posting”. Updated October 26, 2022.

COVID-19 Cases, Deaths and Vaccination Rates for Nursing Home Staff and Residents Editor's Pick

Find the Covid vaccination rates for nursing home staff by facility, across the US. Click on “list of every nursing home with recent resident and staff vaccination rates” to see both staff and resident vaccination rates. The list is in Excel spreadsheet fashion, so use the Control-F shortcut to quickly find the nursing home you’re looking for. Overall, nursing homes have 87% of their staff vaccinated with the primary series as of Oct. 23, 2022, and 87% of their residents. However, only 25% of staff are up to date with boosters, and 41% of residents are up to date with vaccinations. Infected staff can (and do) spread Covid to nursing home residents and cause breakthrough infections for some residents who have been vaccinated. Since the pandemic started, more than 159,000 residents have died from Covid and almost 2,800 nursing home staff have died from Covid. Each group has had more than 1 million cases. This web site will tell you how many cases and deaths were at each nursing home. Published by CMS.

Long Term Care Hospitals – Compare Quality Editor's Pick

Compare quality at long-term care hospitals for inpatient rehab in the US. Site is called Long Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Compare. These hospitals may also be referred to as long term acute care (LTAC) facilities. Compare 3 hospitals at one time, side by side, on quality measures for each hospital. Infections, complications, percent of staff that got their flu vaccination, effective care, and more. Graph view will show the actual performance results. Most data include calendar year 2021. Provided by, September 2022.

US News Best Nursing Homes 2022-2023 Editor's Pick

U.S. News 2022-2023 list of best nursing homes use federal government CMS star ratings and quality measures from the CMS data of July 2022. Just over 2,400 nursing homes gained High Performing status, out of more than 15,000. The top rated nursing homes selected by US News had to be high performing for either short-term rehab care, or long-term care, or both. Only 335 nursing homes qualified as top performing for both, compared to over 1,000 last year. There were 559 nursing homes categorized as Below Average for both short and long-term care. USNews compared its nursing home ratings to those of CMS Care Compare. The two separate methodologies were in fairly close agreement much of the time, about low-scoring, average, and higher scoring nursing homes. However, they were in perfect agreement only 1/4 of the time (28%). Consequently, consumers should check Nursing Home Compare ratings also. Sometimes (40 nursing homes) CMS would rate the nursing home 5, while USNews gave it a 1 star, or vice versa. Even USNews states that the highest-rated nursing homes are NOT necessarily the best choices. Information on nursing homes from NursingHomeCompare published by US News. Most dates of service were from 2021 or 2022, with Covid vaccination data from July 2022. Updated November 2022.

Other Helpful Listings

Accredited Healthcare Facilities – Joint Commission Accreditation (all states) Editor's Pick

Find accredited healthcare facilities in all states, by The Joint Commission (TJC). TJC is formerly JCAHO – Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. It accredits hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Quality Check provides accreditation and comparison information for hospitals, behavioral health care, home health/hospice, laboratories, some nursing homes (called nursing care centers) & assisted living centers, and other health care services. A few actual scores for acute care hospitals, emergency departments and behavioral health (mental health) programs may be available for 2021. For nursing homes, consumers are advised also to check state inspection reports . In the past, we have discovered a 1-star Florida nursing home (the lowest possible rating in the state) had been accredited by the Joint Commission. Consumers are always advised to check multiple sources and ratings when researching quality of care. Conflicts in scores may suggest quality is not consistent. Updated 2022.

Eldercare Locator – Search services for independent living Editor's Pick

Eldercare Locator is a way to search for services supporting senior independent living. US Department of Health and Human Services provides a free public service through the US Administration on Aging, to help seniors and caregivers find resources anywhere in the country. In addition to the website, you may call 1-800-677-1116 on weekdays to speak with someone who can help (English or Spanish). Very easy to use, by putting in your zip code.

List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) – See Who is Excluded from Medicare Editor's Pick

The List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) is a Medicare fraud prevention site by the HHS Office of Inspector General. It allows consumer to search for a specific name of a person or business to see if they have been excluded from receiving payment from Medicare and Medicaid, due to license revocation, suspension or surrender; program-related fraud; patient abuse or neglect, and other reasons such as default on Health Education Assistance Loans. Exclusions Database contains physicians, nurses, nurses’ aides, hospital employees, pharmacists, nursing home operators and more. More than 77,000 names on the list as of April 2023. Updated monthly.

Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums – how much does it cost? Editor's Pick

According to the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance, the average cost of long-term care insurance premium was $2,600 per year in 2022 for a 60-year old couple, and $165,000 of benefit. Policies that included an annual medical inflation factor (maximum 5%) cost up to $8,750 per year. For a 60-year old female, the 2022 cost was $1,900 per year (or up to $6,600 depending on annual inflation added). See 2022 Long-Term Care Insurance Information. Consumers should check current prices with their insurance broker, as prices may have increased. You might be surprised to learn that most people who purchased long-term care insurance in 2021 were under the age of 55. About 1/3 were between ages 55 and 64. Just 11% had their policies issued at age 65 or older. The reason for the shift to younger age groups had to do with tax changes made in Washington state.

Resources for Caregivers of Seniors

If you’re a caregiver for a senior, find additional resources here. The Aging Life Care Association (formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers) has compiled an extensive list of resources for seniors and their caregivers. Categories include associations, community/social services, government and care management. Consumers can also search for an Aging Life Care Expert.

See Also: More Senior Resources at Consumer Health Ratings

Consumer Health Ratings’ category of Seniors, Age 65+ provides extra selected resources for caregivers and older adults. Resources are listed on eldercare, home safety, finding an Aging Life Care Professional, health issues as one ages, avoiding falls, things to know about nursing homes. These resources are free. Go to Learn More/Health Conditions, or click here.

Skilled Nursing Facility Occupancy – AHCA

The Skilled Nursing Facility occupancy chart shows a big drop in nursing home occupancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of 2019, nursing home occupancy was just over 80%. By January 2021, it bottomed out at 67.5%. It has since regained some ground to 75.3% October 2, 2022. Fast Facts (from 2015) by American Health Care Association (AHCA) shows a few characteristics in aggregate on 15,655 skilled nursing facilities in the US. Brief sketch only. Some nursing homes may have closed since then. A more detailed publication (also 2015) from the federal HHS, the Nursing Home Data Compendium 2015, is also available here.

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