Using the Medicare Website to Evaluate Nursing Homes
The process of placing someone else in a nursing home can be a long and involved decision. Obviously, everyone wants what is best for their loved ones, and would like to know as much information as they can about the places they are considering. One good way to evaluate this is through the Medicare Nursing Home site, available at http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare/home.asp. You can search for all the nursing homes within a certain geographic region, and then examine the results of Medicare's frequent inspections. Although you will certainly need to do more research than just this, you can use these results to evaluate facilities that have been rated as having major deficiencies. This way you need only visit the locations that have met or exceeded Medicare's standards for safety.
Instructions on Using the Medicare Website to Research Nursing Homes
To begin your research, navigate to http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare/home.asp. Next, under where it says 'Step 1,' choose how you would like to search for nursing homes. After you select one of the three means of searching, you must fill out 'Step 1a' directly beneath the first part. Click 'Next Step,' and it will load a page showing the results of your search. This page shows general information about each nursing home such as Medicare and Medicaid participation, the number of certified beds, and how long the facility has been certified. To get more details about one or more facilities, mark the checkboxes to the left of their names and click 'Next Step.' This will show another comparison of the facilities, but with more detailed information such as the number of nursing staff hours per resident per day, the total number of residents, and the number of health deficiencies reported. To find out even more about a single nursing home click 'View all information about this nursing home' in the box with the name of the home. This will bring up a page containing all the information that Medicare has about the facility. To view detailed reports about individual aspects, click the link labeled 'Show All.' This will expand the page, showing results of various assessments and inspections.
Using the Medicare Site to Evaluate Nursing Homes is a Great First Step
You now have the ability to use the Medicare Website to evaluate nursing homes and get an initial impression of the level of care you may expect. From here, you must do the groundwork, including actually visiting the sites. Using the Medicare site is a great first step to choosing the ideal home for your loved one.
Developing a Plan of Care Once You Have Chosen a Nursing Home
Just as important as the choice of a nursing home is the decision about a plan of care to follow once the resident is admitted. You should work with the staff to develop a well-formulated care plan that will allow your loved one to enjoy the highest standard of living available. Care Plan Information, a recently released information packet, will guide you through the steps required to complete this process. It will tell you what questions to ask, and prepare you to confidently navigate through the forms and meetings that are inherent to the path towards developing a plan of care. Take the first step and purchase a Care Plan Information Packet today!
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