SEATTLE, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A Place for Mom, Inc. (APFM), the nation's largest senior living referral service, announced the launch of its State Guide to Assisted Living Records & Reports. The guide provides consumers with the most comprehensive information available on the quality and accessibility of assisted living records for every state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia.
Results of the State Guide to Assisted Living Records & Reports are the culmination of three years of research and analysis conducted by A Place for Mom as part of the company's audit process to ensure senior living communities within the company's partner network are licensed and in compliance with their state regulating agencies.
Some of the key findings of the guide include:
- The states that make it easiest for consumers to access information make all assisted living records available online. These states include Missouri, Florida, Washington, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Texas.
- 57% of the United States provides consumers with high to exceptional accessibility to assisted living records;
- In many states, information seekers must file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain assisted living records and some states require that all information requests be sent via mail;
- Some states require that information seekers must be residents of that state in order to obtain assisted living records making it difficult for out-of-state family members to help a loved one with the research process;
- The time it takes for a state to process a request ranged from less than a week to several months;
- Some states charge a fee for each printed page required to fulfill a request, as well as an hourly service fee for document retrieval.
"Providing consumers with information about senior living so they can make informed and confident decisions is at the core of A Place for Mom's mission," said Sean Kell, CEO of A Place for Mom. "Offering the State Guide in addition to our advisory service and our consumer reviews web site, SeniorAdvisor.com, gives families multiple resources for research and education. Every consumer should have access to critical information regarding senior living communities in their area and today's consumer has more options and access to information than ever before."
Assisted living records data for each state was evaluated against more than a dozen criteria, such as the accessibility of data online; the frequency that records were updated; publication of inspection and violation status; and the breadth of information presented for assisted living communities within a state. The APFM Regulatory Licensing Team, which conducts ongoing reviews of existing and potential partner communities, assigned a score and ranking for each state based on their adherence to the criteria.
"It's encouraging that over the three years of our research, more and more states have made it easier for consumers to access information related to local assisted living communities," said Josh Lucas, Regulatory Licensing Program Manager of A Place for Mom. "Wyoming is a great example. When I began this project only basic information was available to consumers and today the state falls within the highest category for accessibility."
At the time of launch, A Place for Mom informed states of its State Guide to Assisted Living Records & Reports and reactions have been positive.
"Pennsylvania is committed to empowering consumers of long-term care and their families with information and other tools that permit them to make informed choices about care facilities for themselves and their family members," said Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth. "Thank you to A Place for Mom for acknowledging that commitment and making this information easily accessible for our citizens."
"We appreciate the recognition from A Place for Mom for Florida's commitment to developing new and innovative ways to make health care information more accessible to consumers," said Molly McKinstry, Florida's Deputy Secretary for Health Quality Assurance. "Florida has worked diligently, through FloridaHealthFinder.gov, to expand timely consumer information that enables families to make informed choices for care. The A Place for Mom website will help raise awareness of the resources available to consumers considering assisted living facility options."
The State Guide to Assisted Living Records & Reports can be found on the A Place for Mom website. The results of the report are represented in an interactive map. The map is color coded in accordance with each state's overall grade and allows visitors to click for more information, including tips for families seeking senior housing within each state and a breakdown of how it fared in all of the evaluation categories.
About A Place for Mom
A Place for Mom, Inc. (APFM) is the nation's largest senior living referral service with 300 senior living advisors providing resources and personalized assistance in finding senior living services. Using its nationwide network of nearly 20,000 providers, APFM helps families find options based on a loved one's stated needs, preferences and budget. This may include independent senior housing, home care, residential care homes, assisted living communities and specialized Alzheimer's memory care. The service is offered at no charge to families as providers pay a fee to APFM. For more information, visit www.aplaceformom.com, call 1-877-311-6099 or visit one of APFM's social networks at Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Senior Living Blog and Pinterest.
SOURCE A Place for Mom