Placing a loved one in a nursing home facility is difficult, especially when finding a good one is challenging. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was supposed to make it easier with its comparison tool. However, the service may not be as trustworthy as you would hope.
New research suggests that nursing homes are significantly underreporting the number of residents who obtain treatment for bedsores.
What researchers found during their investigations
The CMMS nursing home comparison tool allows you to compare nursing homes based on several factors. One of these is on quality of care, of which bedsore occurrence and treatments is a measure.
Researchers investigated the number of Medicare patients admitted to the hospital for pressure ulcers and then compared those data against nursing-home data for the residents. They found that nursing homes failed to report 30% of bedsore cases for short-term residents and nearly 40% of long-term resident cases in the nursing home comparison database. Additionally, Black residents suffered higher rates of bedsores requiring hospitalization than white residents.
What the findings mean for family members seeking care for loved ones
Bedsores can create life-threatening situations, particularly for elderly residents who are already medically compromised. Unfortunately, the comparison tool relies on nursing homes submitting accurate data. Choosing a facility is much more difficult when you can’t trust the information provided.
For those with family members already in a nursing home, the new study presents cause for concern. At the very least, it may require more vigilance and pressure on the government to alter its reporting methods.