The United States’ Medicare.gov website includes a comprehensive section called Nursing Home Compare, which contains quality of care and staffing information for all 15,600+ Medicare- and Medicaid-participating nursing homes in the country.
Among a wealth of other information, Nursing Home Compare offers data on fifteen quality measures from the “percentage of long-stay residents with a urinary tract infection,” to the “percentage of long-stay high-risk residents with pressure ulcers” for all 15,600+ facilities each month and averaged for the previous year. It also includes “the percentage of long-stay residents who received an antipsychotic.” The data on these quality measures, in addition to other ways of rating long-term care facilities (LTCFs), is updated monthly and is downloadable. However, because of the volume of information provided, it’s challenging to wade through the zip file downloads, particularly for those interested in comparing one particular parameter such as the use of antipsychotics, which is an important indicator of the overall quality of care being provided in any given facility.
To help family members, dementia care advocates and consultants choose care facilities wisely, I downloaded the Nursing Home Compare quality measure zip file, and, using excel, selected and sorted the data relevant only to the “the percentage of long-stay residents who received an antipsychotic,” to produce two easy-reference lists.
In both lists, the LTCFs are sorted alphabetically by state; then either 1) alphabetically by the name of the LTCF, or 2) in descending order based on the last four-quarter average of “the percentage of residents who received an antipsychotic” last four-quarter average as of October 2016.
Here are download links to the lists, which are excel (.xlsx) files:
- List #1 (alphabetical by name of facility)
- List #2 (in descending order of percentage of residents receiving antipsychotics)
The percentage of residents on antipsychotics reflects the standards of care in any given LTCF as well as the facility’s approach and philosophy with respect to dementia care (i.e. glass half full or half empty?). Faced with the heart-wrenching necessity of placing a loved one who lives with dementia in a LTCF, I believe most families would choose to place them, if possible, where they would be respected and offered the best achievable quality of life. These lists are one tool available to help US residents choose wisely. This type of information should be publicly available everywhere, just as it is in the US, so that families are better equipped to make informed decisions about dementia care options.
A cautionary note: the Nursing Home Compare data is self-reported by the facilities
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