New Tool Reveals Nursing Home Infection Violations

A nurse helps an older patient walk with a cane
Photo by Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com

With some nursing homes under scrutiny during the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., consumers may be wondering how to screen these institutions.

A new free tool from Kaiser Health News (KHN) enables the public to look up the infection records of more than 15,000 nursing homes across the country.

Specifically, the tool shows federal inspection citations for facilities that violated infection-control and prevention guidelines. This data is available because these nursing homes accept patients with Medicare or Medicaid health insurance, which makes them subject to certain federal oversights.

More nursing homes have been cited for infection-control violations than any other type of violation, KHN reports. An infection-control violation is a failure “to follow practices designed to prevent and control infections — such as staffers washing their hands before and after helping each resident and wearing gowns and masks around contagious patients,” according to KHN.

Up to 3.8 million infections happen in nursing homes annually, killing nearly 388,000 residents.

How to use the tool

Kaiser Health News’ new nursing home look-up tool has several tabs, which offer different ways to view the state-by-state data.

The “state data” tab shows and explains four levels of violations. To use this tab, select a state from the “Choose a state” pull-down menu below the map.

Once the state appears on the map, you can click on it to zoom in on a particular part of the state. Then, click on one of the dots that represent nursing homes to view more details about that facility. You will see:

  • Its name
  • Its location
  • Its rating on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare tool (out of five stars)
  • The level of its most serious related citation
  • The total number of infection citations it has received since 2017

The “Table” tab of KHN’s new tool gives the same information, but formatted as a list. You’ll see nursing homes in the state you’ve selected, listed in alphabetical order.

KHN notes that violations of infection control and prevention protocols “rarely” are reflected in the overall star ratings that Medicare gives nursing homes on its own comparison tool. The publication adds:

“Even among nursing homes crowned with the maximum government rating of five stars for overall quality, nearly half have been cited for an infection-control lapse.”

To learn about other nursing home screening aids, check out “Looking for a Nursing Home? These 2 New Tools Can Help.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Ways to Nail Savings on Your Remodeling Project
10 Ways to Nail Savings on Your Remodeling Project

Here’s how to save on your next remodeling project with discounted materials and more tips and tricks.

7 Reasons Not to Move When You Retire
7 Reasons Not to Move When You Retire

Sunny skies and warm breezes sound great. But in reality, you might be better off retiring closer to home.

15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales
15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales

You can save a ton of money — especially if you spot any of these items.

Marooned at Home? Earn Some Cash Playing on Your Computer
Marooned at Home? Earn Some Cash Playing on Your Computer

Earn cash by reading emails, taking surveys, playing games, shopping and signing up for offers through this website.

13 Affordable Products for a Better Night’s Rest
13 Affordable Products for a Better Night’s Rest

These Amazon products can help you finally catch 40 winks — or more.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them
5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them

State personal income tax rates, brackets and deductions just changed in these places.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020
20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020

These practical products made everyday life a little easier last year — and will do so in the new year, too.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.