|Glossary terms||Glossary definitions|
The gathering of information to rate or evaluate your health and needs.
|Automatic sprinkler systems||
One way to make nursing homes safe is to install a water sprinkler system in case of a fire. These systems are called “automatic sprinkler systems.” In order to participate in Medicare or Medicaid, CMS requires that a nursing home have an automatic sprinkler system installed.
A “Facility-Reported Incident” describes an event, such as a fall, that the facility observed, documented, and reported to the state survey agency.
|Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)||
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offer multiple housing options and levels of care. A nursing facility, or nursing home, is typically the most service-intensive housing options. Residents may move from one level to another based on their particular needs, while typically still remaining in the CCRC.
Dementia refers to a group of symptoms that are caused by changes in brain function. Signs of dementia include changes in memory, personality, and behavior. Dementia makes it hard for a person to carry out normal daily activities.
|Fire safety citation||
Fire safety citation is a finding that a nursing home failed to meet one or more federal fire safety requirements.
A health citation is a finding that a nursing home failed to meet one or more federal health requirements during an annual health inspection or a complaint inspection. Inspectors identify health citations by observing the nursing home's performance, its practices, or the conditions in the facility.
|Long term care||
Long-term care includes services that help people with health or personal needs and activities of daily living over a period of time. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, or in various types of facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Most long-term care services help with activities of daily living, like eating, bathing, dressing, or moving about. Medicare doesn't pay for such care unless it's part of certain short-term stays following hospitalization.
Get more information about different kinds of long-term care - Opens in a new window.
|Number of certified beds||
Some nursing homes can have a combination of Medicare, Medicaid, and/or private payer beds. Certified beds tell you how many of the beds in a nursing home are Medicare and/or Medicaid beds. Check with the nursing home to find out what types of beds are available.
Nursing home is a term that includes both skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities. Skilled nursing facilities (SNF) are those that participate in both Medicare and Medicaid. Nursing facilities (NF) are those that participate in Medicaid only.
Nursing homes primarily engage in providing residents skilled nursing care and related services for residents who require medical or nursing care and rehabilitation services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled, or sick individuals.
|Participates in Medicaid||
This nursing home participates in the Medicaid program and can care for people with Medicaid. If a nursing home doesn’t participate in the Medicaid program or no longer participates in the Medicaid program, and the resident runs out of other funds/coverage, the resident will have to move to another nursing home if he/she wants to have their nursing home stay paid by Medicaid.
|Participates in Medicare||
This nursing home participates in the Medicare program and can care for people with Medicare who meet certain requirements for skilled care. Generally Medicare covers short stays.
Many of the nursing home quality measures come from resident assessment data that nursing homes routinely collect on all residents at specified intervals during their stay. These data are converted into quality measures that give you another source of information about how well nursing homes are caring for their residents' physical and clinical needs. The quality measures have 4 intended purposes:
The current quality measures aren't benchmarks, thresholds, guidelines, or standards of care. They're based on care provided to the population of residents in a nursing home, not to any individual resident, and aren't appropriate for use in a lawsuit.
|Resident and family councils||
Resident and family councils can facilitate communications with staff. The law requires nursing homes to allow councils to be set up by residents and families. If a nursing home does not have a resident and family council, ask the administrator why. Ask to talk with a council president to get a sense of how the nursing home has acted on their concerns.
|Special Focus Facility (SFF)||
A Special Focus Facility (SFF) is a nursing home with a recent history of ongoing poor quality of care, as indicated by the findings of state or federal inspection teams. Based on inspection findings for the most recent 3-year period, CMS selects a group of nursing homes with the worst repeated inspections as SFFs.
Sometimes a nursing home will fix a sufficient number of problems in order to pass one inspection, only to fail the next one. Often, many of these same problems show up in inspections again and again. This is a sign that the nursing home didn't address the underlying problems that were causing these repeated serious citations.
Many SFFs respond to the recognition of their past poor performance by making concerted efforts to improve. CMS records indicate that approximately 50% of SFFs significantly improve their quality of care within the subsequent two and a half years.
|Total number of residents||
The total number of residents is the number of residents in the nursing home during the 2 week period prior to inspection.
|Type of ownership||
Nursing homes can be run by private for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, religious-affiliated organizations, or government entities. Quality can vary in nursing homes within each of the different types of ownership. Each nursing home needs to be judged on its own merits.