Assisted living communities garner far fewer negative reviews than do nursing homes, according to a look at “hundreds of thousands” of reviews by FamilyAssets, a service designed to help consumers research senior living and care communities and help communities increase occupancy.
Eight percent of assisted living communities received one-star reviews on the site, compared with 25.7% of nursing homes, the company said.
FamilyAssets attributed the difference to payer source.
“Notably, while most people in assisted living use private funds to pay, 62% percent of nursing home residents have their bill paid by [Medicaid],” the company said. “From this data, it appears that when the government is paying, a lower-quality service is provided.”
Officials at LeadingAge, the second-largest association of nursing home and senior living operators in the United States, disputed the idea that satisfaction is linked to payer source.
“LeadingAge disagrees with the conclusion that the higher degree of resident satisfaction in assisted living is due to the source of payment for services provided,” a spokeswoman for the organizatiaon said in an email to McKnight’s Senior Living. “Assisted living differs from nursing home care in many ways, including residents’ general health and functional abilities and the degree of regulation imposed on providers. It is these factors, not the source of payment, that likely influence resident satisfaction.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect LeadingAge officials’ views.