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Frequently Asked Questions

Nursing Home Inspector




What Costs Does Medicare Cover?   Top of Page

The average nursing home stay is more than two years.
Many elderly will spend several years in a nursing home.
The costs of a nursing home stay averages about $150-$250 per day.
Long Term Care Insurance may be a viable consideration prior to the need arising.

Time FrameSkilled Care / Nursing Home CareIntermediate Care
Custodial Care
1 to 20 DaysAll Costs
If Medicare Requirements Are Met
Nothing
21 to 100 DaysAll "Allowable" Costs Over $96 per DayNothing
Over 100 DaysNothingNothing
Note: This data may have changed since originally researched.



Where Does the Nursing Home Inspector Data Come From?   Top of Page

Raw data is obtained from two sources within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:




How Current is the Data? How Often is it Updated?   Top of Page

Inspections are very thorough and are only performed by state survey agencies about every 1-2 years. After an inspection takes place, the state examiners must file their reports with the state. This information must then find its way through the state and then federal government before it is entered into the national database. It can be a slow process, it is not anyone's fault, there is just a mountain of data that must be continually processed.

As soon as there is an update to the national database made available, we update ours. The feds update theirs about monthly, thus so do we. We have seen inspections appear in the national database as soon as a month after they occur. Often however, it may take two or three months and sometimes longer. There may be a significant delay between the date the inspection occurs and the date it becomes available through the above mentioned data sources.

As a general rule, if the last inspection date shown is within about 18 months +/- 3 months, it is likely the most recent report available.

The inspection process is extremely elaborate and time consuming. Therefore, it is not something that is done every month or so, or even every few months. Inspectors are often on-site for days or weeks and the resulting report may be hundreds of pages long.

We suggest concentrating on the comparisons to County and State averages as well as the trend in deficiencies over past inspections to compare a particular home with others in the same area.




How is Nursing Home InspectorTM Different from Other Nursing Home Reports?   Top of Page

Our Nursing Home Inspector tool uses much of the same raw data as others but we have created a user-friendly way to compare up to 3 years of reports. We also provide an advanced tool that we feel is much more useful to the average consumer for locating the "best" homes.

  • First, we have developed a proprietary Rating and Ranking technique that allows quick comparisons of homes to each other as well as to County, State and National averages.
  • Second, we have developed search and sort options that allow you to quickly and easily compare any number of homes in a given area.
  • Third, we have included a large number of analytical displays.
  • Finally, we have developed an extensive set of on-line reports that allow you to quickly and easily view graphic summaries of key indicators or examine the details you require.

Nursing Home InspectorTM provides critical information in an easy to use and understandable format. It is an excellent research tool for those wishing to compare multiple homes in a given area.




Is this Information free?   Top of Page

Yes. This is public information paid for by our tax dollars. A few individual states and the federal government (try: www.medicare.gov) provide survey results in a variety of formats. Also, each home is required to have the full inspection report available to consumers on site (often 100s of pages long).

The problem arises when average consumers try to locate "usable" forms of this data. Many of our customers have come from other sites where they could not get the answers they needed or the information was just too difficult to understand. As stated previously, the inspection data can be very confusing for many people to interpret. That is exactly why we developed this tool. To make the inspection results more available, understandable, and usable.

Many individual homes would prefer that these inspection results were not available to the general public or difficult to obtain. Many more wish that the entire process would just go away! The purpose however is to help them improve the quality of care provided our elderly by holding nursing homes accountable and making the public aware.

The choice was simple; ignore the many requests we received to "find the best homes" or develop a tool that could truly help people determine for themselves what homes best fit their needs. Why pay a consultant when you can do the research yourself?




Where are the detailed descriptions of each deficiency? Where do I find them?   Top of Page

The full reports which contain detailed descriptions may be hundreds of pages long. There is nowhere on-line that we are aware of that makes this information available. The full reports are available, by law, for anyone to see at the facility itself. You would probably spend many hours reading through one inspection report and gain very little insight however.




Is the Nursing Home Inspection Data All I Need to Decide?   Top of Page

While the data collected during state inspections is extremely valuable, there are no analytical measures that can give you the true quality of care provided to any individual resident or to the residents in general with 100% accuracy.

Findings in these inspections do not present a complete picture of the quality of care provided. Information in this database should be interpreted carefully and used in conjunction with other sources, as well as a visit to the nursing home. We suggest you use our Nursing Home Checklist to help evaluate the nursing homes you plan to visit.




How Do We "Rate" Nursing Homes?   Top of Page

The proprietary rating method used by CarePathways.com has been developed by data analysis experts with over 20 years of experience. It uses a model that, simply put, compares each home to the State Average for each of three ranking criteria while normalizing* possible data anomalies at both the extreme high and low ends of the curve.

These rankings are an excellent tool for quick comparisons between a number of facilities within a given area such as a state, county, city or zip code. You should examine the detailed report for each facility to get the best picture possible from the data available.

The rankings compare the most recent inspection data for each facility. Results sorted by a ranking criteria are always listed in order with the "best" scores first.

RANKINGS ARE FOR COMPARISON PURPOSES ONLY.

Best
Above Average
Average
Below Average
Very Low
No Data