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Frequently Asked Questions

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
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 is made 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. It therefore 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 collect and compile a history for many years not just a couple. 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 not available anywhere else.
  • Fourth, we continue to expand upon the inspection history for many years, not just the most recent.
  • 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 understand format. It has evolved over 100s of R&D hours into a truly excellent research tool. It is designed primarily for those who desire the use of a highly developed tool and are willing to pay a small fee for the convenience. It is most helpful for those wishing to compare a number of homes in a given area.

Take a FREE Test Drive with Full Access Below

Why is This Information Not Free?   Top of Page

It is. This is public information paid for by our tax dollars. A few individual states and the federal government (try: 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 at a fraction of the cost?

After much deliberation we decided to obtain the raw data, analyze it, and develop a useful application that average consumers could access on-line and use to locate the best care available. It has taken 100s of hours to develop, at great expense, but we feel the resulting product serves a useful and needed function.

We receive no financial support from the government. We have expended an enormous amount of time and money to develop, maintain and host this database and the application that accesses it. All computer systems have limited resources. Each request from Nursing Home Inspector uses a good deal of these resources. Our memberships are necessary to help offset our expenses in order that we may continue to offer this service.

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 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.


Above Average
Below Average
Very Low
No Data  

Nursing Home InspectorTM Login Problems?   Top of Page

If you continue to see the "Login" and "Buy Now" buttons, in the upper-right corner of Nursing Home pages after you login, your login session did not record properly.

Cookies must be enabled to use NHI. It uses a small cookie after it verifies your login to keep your login current while you explore NHI. To enable cookies, you need to make a simple adjustment to your browser settings.

Internet Explorer version 6
1. On the Tools menu, select "Internet Options..."
2. Click the "Privacy" tab
3. Ensure that the privacy level is set no higher than "Medium High"
4. Click the "OK" button
5. You may need to close and reopen your browser

FireFox 1.5
1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
2. Click on Cookies tab.
3. Check the Allow sites to set Cookies box.
4. Click OK.
5. You may need to close and reopen your browser

Netscape versions 6 and 7.1
1. On the Edit menu, click Preferences.
2. Click the Privacy & Security, and then Cookies. If you can't see Cookies directly under Privacy and Security, try either clicking the triangle to the left of Privacy & Security or double clicking on Privacy and Security.
3. Click on Enable All Cookies.
4. Click OK.
5. You may need to close and reopen your browser

If you are continuing to experience problems, please email Technical Support or Call us Toll Free 877-521-9987.