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Consumer Reports Site Compiles Nursing Home Watch List
The Web site of Consumer Reports magazine now features information to help older persons and their families choose a nursing home.
The site includes a state-by-state Nursing Home Watch List that identifies the facilities with the most questionable patterns of deficiencies, based on state survey reports between July 1995 and October 1998. A home's appearance on the list, says Consumer Reports, raises questions about the quality of care delivered to residents. However, Consumer Reports notes that because some facilities have many deficiencies one year and none the next, it is possible that a listed facility would now show no problems. "If you are using or considering one of these facilities," the site advises, "check surveys reported over a four-year period to assure yourself that prior problems have indeed been resolved."
The site also features "Key Shopping Tips" for choosing a nursing home. This advice is excerpted from the recently published Consumer Reports Complete Guide to Health Services for Seniors, by Trudy Lieberman and the editors of Consumer Reports (Three Rivers Press, 2000). In addition to information on nursing homes, the book offers advice on long-term care insurance, Medicaid, home health care, and housing options. It also contains ratings of Medicare HMOs and Medigap policies offered in 30 cities.
Consumer Reports Complete Guide to Health Services for Seniors is available for $19.95 by calling (800) 500-9760 or for $15.96 from Amazon.com
Consumer Reports' Web pages on "Shopping for a nursing home" can be found at consumerreports.org.