Assisted Living Three Times Less Likely to Get Bad Reviews
According to a 2018 research study conducted by FamilyAssets Group, LLC, nursing homes receive three times as many bad reviews as assisted living communities. Family Assets used reviews by residents posted online, as their primary data source.
The Company’s Methodology
Family Assets chose to ignore Medicare reviews of facilities since the company believes that nursing homes have found a way to manipulate those reviews. Instead, it mined hundreds of thousands of user reviews across tens of thousands of facilities. Average reviews weren’t incorporated into the study. FamilyAssets compared the number of bad to good reviews and then the aggregate data.
A Horrifying Conclusion
Family Assets found a direct correlation between service payment type and the opinions of reviewers: Nursing home residents were far more likely to use Medicare to pay for services. In fact, 62 percent of nursing home resident reviewers used Medicare. On the other hand, people who chose to live in assisted living facilities typically paid out of their own pockets. Residents who didn’t have to rely on federal aid in assisted living scenarios gave far more positive reviews and talked more about higher quality of care.
The Opposing Argument
Senior living facility operators argue that FamilyAssets isn’t taking into account every factor that can influence the opinions of residents: A spokesperson for the second-largest operator, LeadingAge, responded to FamilyAssets’ study by reminding the public that people who use Medicare often require a higher degree of care because of their “general health and functional abilities,” which implies that the opinions of Medicare recipients are clouded by negativity that relates to their health and mobility. Providers also have stricter regulations for nursing home patients, which can adversely influence patient opinion.