Nursing Homes

Nursing Homes

A Nursing Home (NH) is a facility that provides 24 hour 7 day a week medical care and supervision.

A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) provides skilled nursing (examples: wound care, pain management, or bowel/bladder training),  and physical, occupational or speech therapy services. A SNF may also be referred to as a sub-acute rehab. Medicare may cover up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility if you have met very specific Medicare eligibility guidelines.

Medicare does NOT cover ongoing long-term Nursing Home care. You may require additional care after your Medicare coverage ends. You may choose to pay the nursing home privately, use long-term care insurance or apply for state Medicaid.

A nursing home may also provide long-term care.

To obtain a list of licensed nursing homes from the RI Department of Health Licensee List click the button below.

The RI Department of Health’s Healthcare Quality Reporting Program has developed a Nursing Home Summary Report to help you compare Nursing Homes and choose among them. To find the most recent report click here http://www.health.ri.gov/nursinghomes/about/quality/

Under Federal and state law you retain ALL of the same Rights that you enjoy in the community. Your Rights and Protections as a Nursing Home Resident can be downloaded by clicking here.

Suspicion of Abuse (physical, sexual, financial exploitation and property theft) should be reported to the police and to the following:

Department of Health Facilities Regulation 401-222-5200

RI Attorney General Patient Abuse or Neglect, Medicaid Fraud & Drug Diversion Unit 401-222-2566 or 274-4400 x2269

RI Long Term Care Ombudsman 401-785-3340

Question When Choosing a Nursing Home

You may wish to download and print The Nursing Home Checklist created by Medicare.

  • Find a few nursing homes near you or your family & friends
  • Medicare rates nursing homes on a 1 (below average) to 5 (above average) star scale based on: health inspections, staffing report, Medicare participation, number of certified beds and type of ownership.
  • Schedule a visit to tour the facility and eat a meal
  • Talk with the Staff, Residents and Families
  • Make an unscheduled visit at another time such as an evening or weekend

Health Care and Services:

  • Can residents retain their personal physician if they wish?
  • Will a resident be moved out of the facility if additional care is needed?
  • Are rehabilitation programs and therapies offered, as appropriate?
  • What are the policies on “do not resuscitate” and “advance directives”?
  • If applicable, does the facility meet the Alzheimer’s Association criteria?
  • Does the facility offer specialized programs or services?


  • What is the facility’s staff to resident ratio on each shift & on weekends? Note: RI recently passed legislation requiring an average of 3.58 hours of resident care per day by 2022 and 3.81 hours by 2023.
  • What is the staff longevity?
  • How are prospective employees screened?
  • What kind of training do new employees receive?
  • Is staff trained to work with individuals with dementia or behavioral problems?


  • Is there adequate privacy and space in resident rooms?
  • What personal possessions are permitted in resident rooms?  Is storage available?
  • How are items protected from theft?
  • Does each room have its own bathroom and shower or is it shared? If shared, by how many?
  • What are the policies on transfer and relocation of residents?
  • Are tv, cable, wi-fi and telephone included in the rate?,
  • Does each room have it’s own heat & air conditioning thermostat? If not, where is the control?
  • Are the bathing and food preparation areas clean and accessible?

Meals and Resident Activities:

  • Are meals served in an appealing manner and at proper temperature?
  • Are there food choices?
  • Are there accommodations for special diets? (Kosher, Gluten Free, Vegan etc)
  • Are snacks and drinks available between meals?
  • Is there an active residents’ council?
  • Are religious services or special events held at or outside the facility and what is scheduled?
  • Are there activities offered everyday including evenings and weekends?

Family Visits:

  • What are the facility’s policies concerning visitors?
  • Are family members permitted to join relatives for occasional meals? Is there a fee?

Payment Policies:

  • Is the facility approved to accept Medicare or Medicaid patients?
  • What is the billing and payment policy?
  • What is included in the daily/monthly rate?
  • Are there any additional charges?
  • How long will the bed be held if the resident is hospitalized? What is the bed hold fee?

Facility Environment:

  • Visit both the rehab unit and the long term care units.
  • Do the residents appear to be well cared for, properly groomed, and dressed appropriately for the season and time of day?
  • Do staff seem to be friendly, caring and accommodating to residents, visitors and others?
  • Do staff members respond promptly to resident’s requests?
  • Is the facility clean?
  • Are there strong odors in the facility?
  • Is the facility well maintained, pleasing and cheerful?
  • Are the exits clearly marked and accessible?

Survey Reports:

  • When was the facility’s last survey conducted?
  • Is the most recent survey report available in the facility? If so, where?
  • Have cited deficiencies been corrected?
  • If corrected, when and how were they corrected?
  • How will the facility prevent them from recurring?
  • If deficiencies are not yet corrected, what is the facility’s plan for correcting?
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