In 2010, there were 246 nursing homes accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), representing just 2% of all homes. CARF also accredits medical rehabilitation programs and dementia and stroke care specialty programs. A new study found CARF-accredited homes had better care quality than non-accredited homes for short-stay quality measures, such as percent of residents who got flu shots during flu season.
The 246 CARF-accredited nursing homes were compared with 15,393 non-accredited homes on the seven quality indicators used by CARF. The total nursing homes compared represents 97% of all nursing homes in the United States in 2010. In addition to flu vaccination, the care quality indicators included the percent of short-stay residents given the pneumonia vaccine, residents who have delirium, those who have moderate-to-severe pain, and those who have pressure sores.
The other two measures were a 5-star quality measure score and 5-star health inspection score. These last two criteria provide an overall assessment of nursing home quality. CARF-accredited nursing homes differed significantly from the other homes when it came to national averages for six of the seven quality measures.
The researchers point out that lack of financial resources prevents many nursing homes from seeking voluntary CARF accreditation. They recommend financial incentives be provided to accredited facilities, similar to what is being done in Ontario, Canada.
For more info, see Wagner et al. (2013). Impact of voluntary accreditation on short-stay rehabilitative measures in U.S. nursing homes. Rehabilitation Nursing, 38, 167-177.