New Website Launched Includes Tools to Compare and Anylyze Quality of Nursing Homes

The Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research has launched a website designed for nursing home researchers that will also be very helpful to many consumer advocates looking for data and  comparison tools.

The interactive database, www.LTCfocUS.org, incorporates information from a number of government sources including, Medicare reimbursement claims, OSCAR (CMS's Online Survey, Certification and Reporting system), the MDS (Minimum Data Set), and Brown's own survey of state Medicaid policies.

Users can interact with the website by creating interactive maps and tables with comparative information about states, counties, or individual nursing homes. All data provided on the website is also available to download.

Users can also choose up to five variables. The broad range of variables from which to choose includes number of beds; for-profit and chain status; percent of Medicare and Medicaid beds; Alzheimer's units; occupancy rates; age ranges, gender and race of residents; direct care staffing (RN, LPN, CNA); acuity of care; certain MDS quality measures; source of admissions (hospital or home); and 30-day rehospitalization rates (a potential indicator of quality).Many of the variables were not available on any nursing home research website before now.

The website is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging-funded Shaping Long-Term Care in America project housed at the Brown center. While its stated purposes are to "allow researchers to trace clear relationships between state policies and local market forces and the quality of long-term care" and to allow policymakers "to craft state and local guidelines that promote high-quality, cost-effective, equitable care to older Americans," It is also encouraged for use by consumer advocates. For more, visit the website.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.