Like many transitions in life, a shift to a skilled nursing facility generally comes at an unsuspecting time. For many, the move to a nursing home comes after a sudden illness or injury leaves the person unable to care for herself. In most circumstances, there is a sense of urgency that accompanies this transition as many medical facilities spring this information of the family with little time to spare.
Locating an agreeable facility is an added stressor heaped upon during this time of need. While nothing can take the place of selecting a facility after multiple visits, the re-vamped Nursing Home Compare website, now provides a more insights on facilities that once required a lot of digging— if it was discoverable at all.
In all, the new website has 21 new criteria that families can use to assess if a facility is a good fit for their family member. Compared with the old information contained on the website, the new materials are more user friendly and provide information that is far more digestible as to the quality of care provided at the facility.
Equally— if not more important, the new site contains information related to inferior care provided at facilities. The number of monetary fines related to poor care and disciplinary actions taken against the facility are now available on the site. The number of substantiated complaints made that involve the facility will be added later this year.
As a nursing home lawyer who is regularly asked about particular facilities, I strongly support the new Medicare website. However, I also encourage families to use this tool as a starting point in their selection of a nursing home. No website can take the place of honest feedback provided by other families at the facility or by multiple tours made of the facility.