Nursing Home Lawyer

If you are preparing to move your elderly loved one into a nursing home, you will obviously want to choose a facility that has a sound reputation. Although a majority of nursing homes are staffed by professionals who care about the patients, there are unfortunately facilities that neglect or abuse the people living within. To protect your loved one you might have stopped by the nursing home, talked with patients or staff, and searched online to see what others are saying. 

As a nursing home abuse lawyer may tell you, many people skip an important step, and this is the background check. It is possible to do a background check on a nursing home; here is how. 

The Nursing Home Compare Website

The Nursing Home Compare website is run by Medicare and enables you to access information about any nursing home that is covered and certified by Medicaid or Medicare in the U.S. At this time, there are more than 15,000 different homes throughout the country, and each of these can be reviewed on the database. 

On the nursing home compare website you will find ratings that are based on the standard 5-star rating scale. Data that is collected through investigations and reviews are compiled and used to calculate the star rating. As a nursing home abuse lawyer might explain to you, it is possible to review the following information on the website:

  • Health inspection findings
  • Quality Measures
  • Staffing
  • Information about fines and penalties
  • Complaints
  • Health code deficiencies
  • Patient care statistics

You can also compare ratings from a nursing home to other facilities in the nearby area. It is also possible to view the staff, therapist, or registered nurse hours per day and compare those to both the state and national averages. Finally, vital statistics such as how many influenza vaccines have been administered or the number of patients receiving physical restraints or antipsychotic medications can be reviewed in the nursing home background check. 

Where the Data Comes From

The data found on the Nursing Home Compare website is carefully compiled from two different sources, including:

Minimum Data Set – This is a national database that details a broad range of information relating to nursing homes, and for each patient who is receiving care. The data includes the mental status of the patient, their overall health and wellbeing, their ability to function, and other health related details. 

Health Inspection Database – Both Medicare and Medicaid will conduct inspections on every certified nursing home in the U.S. All of their findings are then recorded into the Health Inspection Database. If there are penalties or staffing issues, they are noted on this site. The data on this site includes the last three inspections.

When You Are Unable to Find the Prospective Facility

In the event you are unable to find the nursing home on the Nursing Home Compare website, it may be possible that they are not certified for Medicaid or Medicare. In this case, you may need to visit the Medicare website and visit the Resources area. Here you can locate your state agency which can be contacted for further information on facilities in your state. 

My Elderly Loved One Was Abused, Now What

In the event of you finding out your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, and you’re found out through a background check that this is not the first time it has happened (or perhaps it is), you should ask a nursing home abuse lawyer to review your case.