U.S. State Variation in Frequency and Prevalence of Nursing Home Complaints. By: Peterson, Lindsay J.; Bowblis, John R.; Jester, Dylan J.; Hyer, Kathryn. Journal of Applied Gerontology. Jun2021, Vol. 40 Issue 6, p582-589. 8p.

Consumers play a key role in the U.S. nursing home (NH) oversight through a federally established complaint process. However, past variation by state in complaint numbers and rates raised questions about the uniformity of the process. We examined state variation in numbers of complaints at intake and substantiated complaints, percentages of NHs with at least one complaint and one substantiated complaint, number of allegations per complaint, and complaint substantiation rates. We found state variation most prominently at the intake level, ranging from 0.4 to 30.4 complaints per NH. The investigation process appears to reduce this variation: however, variation remains among states in frequency and prevalence of substantiated complaints. Further work is needed to ensure federal standards concerning the handling of consumer complaints are applied equally across the states. This includes policies affecting how complaints are initially filed, in addition to how complaints are investigated.