The data come from two sources:
- CMS's Health Inspection database - Includes the nursing home characteristics and health deficiencies issued during the three most recent state inspections and recent complaint investigations. Data about staffing and penalties levied against nursing homes also come from this database.
- National database known as the Minimum Data Set (MDS) - Data for quality measures come from the MDS Repository. The MDS is an assessment done by the nursing home at regular intervals on every resident in a Medicare- or Medicaid-certified nursing home. Information is collected about the resident's health, physical functioning, mental status, and general well-being. These data are used by the nursing home to assess each resident's needs and develop a plan of care.
All of these data are reported by the nursing homes themselves. Nursing home inspectors review it, but don’t formally check it to ensure accuracy. This information changes frequently as residents are discharged and admitted, or residents' conditions change. The information should be interpreted cautiously and used along with information from the Long Term Care Ombudsman's office, the State Survey Agency, or other sources