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Nursing Home Inspect Updated – Massachusetts

By Harry S. Margolis

The investigative journalism website, ProPublica, has recently updated its Nursing Home Inspect database of the government inspections of nursing homes.

This is an easily usable system for family members to research facilities it may be considering for their elders, permitting them to compare the reports on nursing homes they may be considering and to read the actual reports.

The good news for Massachusetts families is that its nursing homes have among the fewest findings of severe deficiencies, with only two being found in the state. Only Virginia, Delaware and Nevada did better, with facilities in each only being cited once.

In contrast, Texas fares terribly garnering 609 findings of severe deficiencies, followed by New York with 273, Oklahoma with 173, Arkansas with 150 and Louisiana with 121.

While the data provided by ProPublica is very important, it should not be the only factor in choosing a facility for a family member. It is difficult to objectively measure the care and attention that staff members give to residents or the variety and flavor of meals provided, but these can be vital to residents’ quality of life.

Nursing Home Inspect should be a tool that family members use in assessing nursing homes and where a facility that is being considered has been cited, family members should ask staff members what is being done to correct the problem. The facility’s response, both substantively and in terms of style — are they open about it or defensive — can be informative in how they will respond to issues that may arise in the care of residents.

For more guidelines on choosing a nursing home for a family member, click here.

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