Your loved one is about to be discharged from the hospital and the hospital social worker advises your loved one is in need of rehabilitation services prior to going home.  The social worker gives you a list of three area rehabilitation centers which have an open bed. How do you decide which rehabilitation center is best suited for your loved one?

A new tool for decision making is Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website, medicare.gov.  For the first time, the federal government is giving a separate rating to the quality of rehabilitation services within a nursing home.  Rehabilitation residents are temporary residents who are trying to regain the ability to care for themselves and return home. Previously, there was only one nursing home Medicare quality rating for both temporary residents getting short-term rehabilitation and permanent long-term residents too ill or frail to live independently.  The quality of rehabilitation care matters because the goal of rehabilitation is so the older adult can return home and regain the ability to live independently.    

It is important to note that quality ratings for short-term rehabilitation and long-term residency within the same nursing home can vary greatly.  Therefore, the separate ratings for each type of nursing home stay is an important tool for families.  

Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website is a good place to begin your search.  However, it should not be the only tool you utilize. Visit each rehabilitation, speak with families, and ask questions of the administration.  The Rothkoff Law Group, through its care advocacy via our geriatric social workers, can assist with proper placement if you are in need of choosing a rehabilitation community upon discharge from the hospital or any other setting.        

You can read more about the revised nursing home ratings at the below link.     

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