Thursday, June 28, 2018

Nursing Home Compare

I know that the current administration has made many changes that diminish or limit protections for our aging loved ones in nursing homes. But there are a lot of things you can do to help you find the BEST place for Mom or Dad or other aging loved ones.

Remember that long term care is not covered by Medicare. If skilled care is needed after an acute illness or injury an short term stay in a nursing home will most likely be covered as long as rehabilitation is progressing. Non-skilled care in a nursing home is an out-of-pocket expense, and choosing the best option is of utmost importance. Discuss this with your discharge planner, case manager and MD. has several pages of checklists and information about nursing homes. They even have a comparison site called Nursing Home Compare that provides you specific information about Medicare related information to help you make decisions. Be sure to explore all of the tabs and print information to review as needed.

A wonderful checklist is downloadable from the site and they offer an in-depth description about all of the things you can find on their website to help making the choice for a nursing home a better experience for you and your family.

Not all nursing homes are created equal and will not appear on the list if they are not certified to accept Medicare for skilled nursing care. But you can find out information through state survey information. "Note: Nursing homes are not included on Nursing Home Compare if they are not certified by Medicare or Medicaid. Those nursing homes may be licensed by a state. For information about nursing homes not on Nursing Home Compare, contact your State Survey Agency."

In addition to information about Medicare certified nursing homes, Medicare also provides a well-defined list of alternative long term care living situations for your loved ones. 

Make informed choices and involve family in the decision making process to ease tensions down the road.