The federal government maintains a website at Medicare.gov which gathers important information about many key aspects of nursing home life for every nursing home in the country. It also allows you to compare facilities in the state, region, and nation. It does so in many categories, including amount of staff in terms of hours of care per residents per day broken down by RN, LPN and CNA care, and perhaps most importantly, the care deficiency citation history of the facility.
Medicare uses a star rating system for all nursing homes that gives them a rating of one to five stars, five stars being the best. Pay close attention to whether the home you are considering is a “special focus facility”. Special focus facilities have been identified as chronically deficient in important quality of care and quality of life areas. Medicare has given over a hundred facilities the special focus designation.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid website has a similar database for all nursing homes in the country with analytic and comparative data on things like staffing and resident acuity levels.
Every informed consumer should carefully review available government information about the facility they are considering. The CDPHE also has an important website. You can search by city or county to see three years worth of survey findings, complaint investigations and occurrence reports.
The Regulations for Hospitals and Health Facilities are listed on CDPHE’s website. Specific regulations for long term care facilities and for assisted living facilities are also listed by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.
Using Federal Regulations and State Surveys in Nursing Home Lawsuits, Trial Talk, CTLA Magazine, 2013 by John Holland
Dealing with Arbitration Agreements in Nursing Home Negligence Cases, Trial Talk, CTLA Magazine, 2013 by Anna Holland Edwards
Busting the Health Care Caps with Punitive Damages, Trial Talk, CTLA Magazine, 2013 by Erica Grossman