Guide Nursing home survey performance tool

Nursing home survey information is available to consumers. You can use this to learn more about the quality of care provided by Massachusetts nursing homes.

Table of Contents

Overview

Choosing a long term care facility is an important decision. The Department of Public Health has developed the Nursing Home Survey Performance Tool, which provides information about individual nursing homes in Massachusetts to serve as a transparent resource for consumers who are making decisions about their health care.

  • The Nursing Home Survey Performance Tool compiles information about Massachusetts nursing homes from recertification and complaint surveys
  • Nursing Home Compare is a federal resource of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) that contains detailed information about nursing homes nationwide

Only those facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid are included on the Survey Performance Tool and Nursing Home Compare.

About the Surveys

The Division inspects nursing homes at least every 9-15 months to assess compliance with federal standards of care. This includes adequacy of staffing, quality of care, and cleanliness of facilities. Also, as necessary, we investigate complaints and serious incidents occurring within nursing homes.

About our surveys:

  • Surveys are unannounced
  • Surveyors are health care professionals, such as registered nurses and licensed social workers
  • A survey report is sent to the nursing home after each survey
  • If standards are not met, then the nursing home must submit a plan of correction to the Division
  • In some cases, a follow-up survey is made to verify that standards that were initially found not met are corrected

Our reports are technical in nature, so they can sometimes difficult for consumers to interpret. In an effort to make survey results more available and understandable, we created a tool called Search for a Nursing Home.

Key Actions for About the Surveys

About the Survey Performance Tool

  • The tool has been developed to aid consumers in their choice of a nursing home
  • The tool uses existing data collected through the Division's surveys
  • Consumers can evaluate and compare facilities in five categories of:
  • The tool evaluates 132 items that have been reviewed during the last 3 standard surveys (44 selected items on each survey)
  • The tool reports the number of requirements in each category that are in compliance and reports a total overall performance
  • Deficiencies which were cited as a result of complaint or serious incident investigations conducted since January 1, 1998 or within 1 year of the most recent standard survey, whichever is later are included in the scoring. Investigations not resulting in a deficiency citation are not reflected in the tool; however that information is available from the Division's Public Information Unit
  • Consumers can use these reports to compare a nursing home's performance to the performance of other nursing homes
  • A new report is generated after each new survey or after an investigation which finds deficiencies in the key requirements
  • New homes that have not experienced 3 surveys are not included
  • The home's score is adjusted to reflect the Scope and Severity ratings of all deficiencies cited. When viewing a home's report, click on the Scope and Severity link, then the Scoring Methodology link to see how scores are calculated.
  • The tool is only available for certified nursing homes that have received 3 standard surveys since January 1, 1996. Facilities will be added to the tool as surveys are completed
  • Facilities that are licensed only and do not participate in Medicare or Medicaid are not included in the tool
  • Consumers may call the Division to obtain survey information on facilities for which no tool is available

Choosing a Nursing Home

We hope that this tool assists the public in making informed choices when considering a nursing home for placement. We caution that no one document can adequately assess the appropriateness of a nursing home for a potential placement

The information provided in the Survey Performance Tool for Nursing Homes can not substitute for a personal visit and thorough review of a nursing home when choosing a facility for yourself or a loved one. Consumers should always visit each facility they are considering and spend time touring the facility and talking with residents, families and staff members.

Key Actions for Choosing a Nursing Home

Image credits:  Shutterstock

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