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Need Help Finding and Advocating for Quality Nursing Home Care?

March 26, 2014

Selecting a good nursing home and monitoring ongoing care can be challenging. The purpose of the information presented here is to help consumers and others in obtaining quality nursing home care.

U.S. News and World Report Releases Nursing Home Ratings


On February 26th, US News & World Report released its 2014 guide to the best nursing homes in America. These rankings, which are based on data reported on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Nursing Home Compare website, are updated annually to reflect the most recent five-star ratings assigned to facilities by CMS.

This blog post from U.S. News and World Report discusses the Best Nursing Homes 2014 launch. The post details what will be included in the report and the criteria used to rate each of the nursing homes. It also discusses how the number of nursing homes receiving the highest possible overall rating has more than doubled since 2009 and provides commentary on why this dramatic increase occurred.

This site answers frequently asked questions related to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Nursing Homes ratings. It describes the nursing home evaluation process and how to best access the information provided.

While the US News & World Report rankings are a helpful beginning resource for consumers seeking to make decisions regarding nursing home care, it is important for consumers to be aware of the shortcomings of the Nursing Home Compare data used for these rankings. In response to this report, The Consumer Voice sent a letter to the editor of U.S. News and World Report describing the importance of staffing when it comes to quality care and how the staffing numbers used in these rankings are widely recognized as being inaccurate. Consumers should take additional steps and consult other resources when evaluating facilities. For more information, please read our fact sheet on using Nursing Home Compare. 

Consumer Voice Resources


Below are additional sources of information on how to choose a nursing home and how to advocate for quality care. Consumers with questions regarding their nursing home care or the care of a loved one should feel to contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org or 202-332-2275.

Guides/Books

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care knows that placing a loved one in a nursing home is one of the most difficult tasks a family member ever faces. But when it becomes necessary, prospective residents and their families should have the best information possible to make this decision. The purpose of this guide is to help you navigate these resources, understand the information, and make an informed choice.

This publication, The Consumer Voice’s widely acclaimed classic consumer guide, includes dozens of specific advocacy strategies, checklists and standards of care. It is a “must-read” for residents, family members, and advocates who seek the best possible care in nursing homes.

This guide is designed for individuals currently receiving or who may in the future receive long-term services and supports. The purpose of this guide is to inform these individuals about their options for long-term services and supports. Its goal is also to empower them - through education - to effectively advocate on their own behalf. Because no one knows better about how to receive the best services than long-term care consumers who have faced these challenges themselves, the guide presents tips from individuals around the country who have already encountered these challenges. Although this guide is intended for long-term care consumers, we recognize the important role of family and other caregivers. For that reason, much of the information in this guide can also be used by caregivers.

Fact Sheets

This factsheet describes Nursing Home Compare and the Five-Star Rating System; how to use Nursing Home Compare and Five-Star information; and the limitations of this information.

These fact sheets for residents cover a variety of topics, including selecting a nursing home, getting quality care, and residents’ rights.

Websites

This webpage contains resources and information to help nursing home residents advocate for quality care. Topic areas include residents' rights, laws and regulations, resident-directed care, Consumer Voice projects with residents, and other relevant information.

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