Medicare Report on Bad Nursing Homes in Indiana

While many consumers think of Medicare as the enemy when it comes to selecting a nursing home, as the payment option is often very complex and limited, Medicare actually provides a valuable resource for those looking to find a reputable nursing home in their area -- or those looking to avoid choosing a bad nursing home.

The government has developed a Medicare Quality Star rating (one to five stars, with five stars being top-quality) for all nursing homes. This rating is compiled from information contained in standardized forms, called the MDS, which are completed on a regular basis for each nursing home resident. Nursing homes that have residents with high levels of incontinence, multiple bedsores, accidental injuries, or incidents related to medication misadministration, lack of supervision, or resident-to-resident aggression score lower on the scale. These types of occurrences are an indicator of a poor-quality nursing home.

In addition to MDS information, Medicare bases its ratings on periodic health inspection survey results, staffing levels and reports filed against current staff members, and quality ratings. Quality ratings are self-reported data complied by nurses that show how well the nursing home assists residents in performing activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, and bathing.

How to Use the Medicare Nursing Home Compare Report Form

1.    Visit the Medicare Nursing Home Compare Report Form website.

2.    Search for nursing home ratings by entering the name of a nursing home, a zip code, city, state, or county, and hit "next step". Your results will be displayed according to the search criteria you enter.

3.    Enter further search criteria as displayed. For example, we selected "search by state", then selected Indiana from the drop-down list. Click Continue.

4.    On the next page, you have the option of viewing the current search results (for this case, 510 nursing homes in Indiana at the time of this writing), modify your search, or start a new search. To view current results, simply scroll down the page to view the results.

5.    Review the results carefully. You will be offered an overall rating for each nursing home, as well as a breakdown of ratings in each of the three categories. You also have the option to click through for contact information for a nursing home or to view the location on a map or get directions. You will also find useful information about types of certification, ownership, and how many beds each facility holds. You can also sort the data displayed by certain criteria by using the drill-down option at the top of the search results.

Once you have your search information, you can begin to make a list of the top-rated facilities in your area to be investigated further. It is recommended that you always visit a nursing home in person before agreeing to place a loved one at the facility, even for short-term care. You should make a scheduled visit and an unannounced visit before making your final decision. For most consumers, going with your instincts in selecting the right nursing home for your loved one is a good idea, but doing the research to see how well a nursing home has performed in the recent past can also help you make an informed decision about what quality of care your loved one might receive as a resident of the facility.  Always check the Medicare Nursing Home Compare Report Form before choosing a nursing in home in Indiana or any other state to help avoid facilities with consistently poor care.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a problem with a nursing home, contact the lawyers at Sweeney Law Firm to learn your legal rights and see if you have a case. There is no cost or obligation for us to evaluate your case. The Sweeney Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis. There is never a fee unless a recovery is made for you.