What happens after a nursing home inspection?
If an inspection team finds that a nursing home doesn't meet a specific standard, it issues a deficiency citation. The federal government may impose penalties on nursing homes for serious deficiencies or for deficiencies that the nursing home fails to correct for a long period of time. For example, Medicare may assess a fine, deny payment to the nursing home, assign a temporary manager, or install a state monitor.
State governments may also impose penalties on nursing homes. These aren't listed on Nursing Home Compare. Information about them may be available on state websites.
The complete nursing home inspection
States record all the information they find during an inspection in a detailed report (form HCFA-2567). When the state finds a deficiency, it records the specific reasons for the deficiency. Medicare attempts to ensure all the states report their findings in a consistent and timely way.
Each nursing home that provides services to people with Medicare or Medicaid is required to make the results of its last full inspection available at the nursing home for the public to review. Nursing Home Compare shows all reports from the last year.
What inspection results mean
These inspections assess whether the nursing home meets certain "minimum" standards. If a nursing home has no deficiencies, it means that it met the minimum standards at the time of the inspection. Inspections don't identify nursing homes that give outstanding care.
While reading these reports, keep in mind that the quality of a nursing home may get much better or much worse in a short period of time. These changes can occur when a nursing home's administrator or ownership changes, or when a nursing home's finances suddenly change.
For the most current information on nursing homes, or to find out more about inspections, contact your Long Term Care Ombudsman's office or the State Survey Agency in your area - Opens in a new windowExit Disclaimer - Opens in a new window.