Independent assessors are supposed to conduct health inspections each year. So those results should be reliable. But, staff levels and quality data are self-reported.
While reliable information that compares the 15,000 nursing homes in America is not yet available, it’s important to keep in mind that quality differs significantly and matters.
Informed Patient Institute offers the best information on nursing homes and other providers in each state. It is likely too generous in giving MedicareCompare a B grade, without listing all its shortcomings. But, where they exist, it tells you about better tools available to you and is worth checking out.
In short, do your own homework before choosing a nursing home for someone you love. Talk to people in your community. Visit the nursing homes a few times before choosing one. Find out about consumer complaints and whether there have been fines imposed on the nursing home by state agencies.
Of course, it’s important to do your homework before seeking any kind of care:
- Here are two tips for choosing a health plan.
- And, four tips for keeping your health plan costs down.
- Be sure to plan ahead for a hospital visit. Now is the best time, before you or a loved one needs to be hospitalized.