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What is Medicare Care Compare?

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When you’re considering a Medicare plan, it’s important to know that you have options. Feel free to call us today at (800) 950-0608 to speak with a licensed agent regarding your Medicare coverage options.

Just the Essentials…

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new initiative known as Care Compare in the Summer of 2020.

  • Medicare Care Compare is designed to help you find providers, hospitals, specialists, and long-term nursing care facilities that meet your medical needs.

  • Medicare Care Compare uses a system of quality metrics and ratings to allow you to compare long-term nursing services in your area.

Have You Heard of Medicare Care Compare?

If this is the first time you’ve heard of this relatively new CMS initiative, you’re not alone. Many of you are probably reading this now and asking, “What is Care Compare?”

While Medicare does not cover long-term nursing home care, it still works to serve a population that requires this type of care by providing a nursing home compare resource. In many ways, it’s very similar to our own excellent nursing home comparison resource, Nursing Home Reviews, but it’s also very different. In addition to nursing home compare services, Medicare Care Compare also provides ratings and metrics for:

  • Area Hospitals
  • Home Health Providers
  • Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) in your area that accept Medicare
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Centers and Dialysis Facilities

For most seniors, its greatest use comes in its ability to deliver Medicare nursing home compare services. When used in tandem with other quality resources such as NursingHomeReviews.com, you unlock the power to find a long-term care facility that meets all of your needs, or the needs of a loved one.

How Does Care Compare Work?

When you’re searching for a nursing home or other long-term care facility, the Medicare Care Compare tool allows you to kick off a search for nursing homes and long-term care facilities available in your area up to a 200-mile radius. To do so, the program uses the following information:

  • Your location
  • Type of provider
  • Other optional keywords

From there, you’re presented with a list of facilities in your area within that radius. The listing for each facility will show you:

  • How far the facility is from your area.
  • The contact information for the facility.
  • The overall rating for the facility.

If you’d like to learn more about an individual facility, you can click its link to obtain more information. A facility’s individual page will provide more detail as to why the nursing home or long-term care facility’s particular rating is as high or as low as it is. This includes anything from detailed inspection results to penalties levied by Medicare toward the facility for any reason at all.

As a CMS nursing home compare tool, Care Compare allows you to select up to three nursing homes or long-term care facilities at a time to compare them against each other. This way, if you have multiple choices in mind for long-term nursing care in your area, you can compare them all to see which works best for you and your needs.

How Does CMS Determine Performance Ratings For Nursing Homes & Long-Term Care Facilities?

Medicare Care Compare uses a wide array of metrics to calculate performance ratings for any nursing home or long-term care facility in its nursing home compare system. Many of the metrics used come from assessing and interviewing current residents, patients, and family members. Staff members are also interviewed and evaluated.

CMS takes everything into consideration when they’re determining how to rate a nursing home or long-term care facility in the CMS nursing home compare system. Some of the criteria that comprise a facility’s rating include:

  • Staff-to-patient ratio
  • The number of long-term patients vs. short-term patients
  • The number of long-term residents vs. short-term residents
  • Quality of short stays and long stays
  • Safety inspections and emergency preparedness
  • Citations and penalties levied against the facility

Of course, there are many more metrics that go into the CMS rating system than the ones listed above. To see a comprehensive list of the metrics used to determine the rating of a facility in the CMS nursing home compare system, try the Medicare Care Compare tool to see which facilities are available in your area.

Care Compare is Not Always an Infallible System

When you’re researching nursing homes or long-term care facilities for yourself or for loved ones, research is key. No one system, including Medicare Care Compare, is completely infallible, and it’s possible to find information from a different resource that you may not have found on the Medicare nursing home compare system.

Instead, consider Medicare Care Compare a nursing home compare resource that can be used alongside other nursing home compare resources. NursingHomeReviews.com is a great independent resource that offers ratings and reviews, as well as tips and articles on finding the perfect new home for yourself or a loved one. It’s one of many great tools to use as a nursing home compare system, along with Care Compare.

Do you have questions regarding what Medicare may or may not cover in relation to long-term care? If so, our licensed agents can help! Feel free to call (800) 950-0608 to speak with one of our licensed agents.

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