Nursing Homes misusing the Medicare Nursing Home Compare Website to Mislead the Public

The Medicare Nursing Home Compare website is one of the few tools available to compare one facility to another. Unfortunately, nursing home facilities appear to be feeding the government inaccurate data in order to “juke the stats.” If you are weighing long term care options for a loved one, be sure to visit the facility and ask plenty of questions, specifically concerning staffing and prior complaints. Often, complaint information is available from your state’s regulatory agency pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request. For information about how some facilities are misleading the public by doctoring the data, see the excellent article by Katie Thomas in the New York Times published on August 24, 2014 titled “Medicare Star Ratings Allow Nursing Homes to Game the System.”