As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, Medicaid is the chief financer of nursing homes in America. In order for facilities to qualify for Medicaid (and Medicare) payments, nursing homes must submit to certain provisions that originated with the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (referred to as OBRA of 1987).
These provisions include regular and standardized resident assessments to be used in residents’ care plans, as well as standardized surveys to ensure that facilities are in compliance with federal regulations relating to staffing and the quality of resident life.
Because almost all nursing home facilities rely on federal funding per Medicaid (and Medicare) almost all nursing homes release relatively standardized data relating to the care services provided.
In addition to an initial survey conducted by state certification agencies (the specifics of which vary on a state-by-state basis), facilities are inspected (“surveyed”) at least once every 15 months to ensure continual compliance with federal regulations. However, for example, if the Minnesota Department of Health (the agency tasked to ensure federal compliance for all Minnesota nursing homes) has reason to believe that a facility has undue healthcare deficiencies, such as complaints of resident neglect, then there should be more frequent surveys associated with the facility.
Facility surveys are intended to ensure compliance with approximately 170 federal regulatory requirements. These inspections should include on-site visits of the facility, review of facility and resident records, and interviews with residents, staff, and family members.
The data yielded by these surveys is compiled into the Online Survey, Certification, and Reporting (OSCAR) system—a federal database that sorts and maintains data on facilities, staff, and residents. OSCAR allows extensive analysis of the big picture status of long-term healthcare in the United States.
OSCAR allows for data associated with nursing facilities to be distributed to the public. You can access this database by clicking here.
More online resources are available by visiting our Nursing Home Resources page.
To check out the rest of the six part series click below:
- Kaiser Foundation Overview of Nursing Facilities: Introduction (Part 1 of 6)
- Kaiser Foundation Overview of Nursing Facilities: The Current Capacity of Nursing Homes (part 3 of 6)
- Kaiser Foundation Overview of Nursing Facilities: Who Owns Nursing Homes and How Nursing Homes are Financed (Part 4 of 6)
- Kaiser Foundation Overview of Nursing Facilities: Putting it All into Perspective (Part 5 of 6)
- Kaiser Foundation Overview of Nursing Facilities: Minnesota Nursing Homes Compared to National Average (Part 6 of 6)
The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe you or your loved one has suffered medication errors because the nursing home failed to do its job, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.