If you are in the process of choosing an Alabama long term care facility to address your healthcare needs or those of a loved one, you have likely run across quite a bit of advice on how to make solid choices. In most information pertaining to long-term care options, potential residents are advised to make sure facilities they are considering are licensed ones and to look for licensing reports as a source of information on the quality of care they offer. Here we'll go over what to expect from those reports.
About licensing reports
Long term care facilities in Alabama are required, with very few exceptions, to be licensed by the state to operate. Getting licensed and retaining that license requires that the facility complies with rules set forth by the Alabama State Department of Health. Facilities are inspected for compliance before they are issued a license, and must undergo regular inspections, also commonly called surveys, in order for that license to remain valid.
Reports are issued each time an inspection is conducted, which list and explain any violations of health department rules for long term care facilities. These reports can provide valuable information to healthcare consumers as they evaluate the quality and services of facilities they are considering for their care.
What kind of information can you expect from these reports?
Information you can expect to see in these reports includes any deficiencies inspectors found while surveying the operations, staffing and physical premises of the facility. Typically, any violation is rated for severity and potential for harm, as well as whether or not the facility has been cited for the same deficiencies repeatedly, whether or not problems cited have been corrected, and if so what measures were taken in addressing them.
Where to find inspection/licensing report information
Long term care facilities are required to make these reports available to the public. If reports are not displayed, you can request them. Other sources for these reports include Medicare, which provides information on inspection reports and any deficiencies or violations a facility may have received. It also shows how those facilities compare in terms of average number of deficiencies in their state and any fines they may have been assessed, all of which can be found on their nursing home compare website. All Alabama long term care facilities listed on Medicare's site are licensed and Medicare certified. The Alabama Long Term Care Ombudsman also provides information on licensing and inspection reports, as well as other quality-related information, and the Alabama State Department of Health also keeps records of facility licensing/inspections.