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National Survey of Residential Care Facilities

Welcome Survey Participants!

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Your community was randomly selected to participate in the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities (NSRCF). This study is a first time national data collection effort to gather information about the characteristics of residential care facilities and their current residents. Included are assisted living residences, board and care homes, congregate care, enriched housing programs, homes for the aged, personal care homes, and shared housing establishments. Between March and October 2010, interviews will be conducted in approximately 2,250 residential care facilities throughout the United States.

To learn more about participating in NSRCF, please see below:

 

What is the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities?

The National Survey of Residential Care Facilities (NSRCF) is the first national data collection effort to gather information about the characteristics of residential care facilities in the United States, their residents, and the types of services they provide. NSRCF, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, is a federally-sponsored, nationally representative sample survey of residential care facilities and their current residents. Included in this study are assisted living residences, board and care homes, congregate care, enriched housing programs, homes for the aged, personal care homes, and shared housing establishments.

 

Why is this survey being conducted?

The number of people in the United States who need long-term care is expected to increase to 27 million in 2050. Although assisted living and residential care is an important and growing segment of the long-term care industry, there is an information gap about these communities and their residents. This study will provide for the first time a national picture of assisted living and residential care communities, the characteristics of the people who live in them, and the range of services received by residents. These data will help characterize how residential care and assisted living communities meet the needs of elders and adults with disabilities and help shape future long-term care policies.

Data from this study will provide:

  • National estimates of the number of residential care facilities operating in the United States.
  • The number of residents receiving care, and the characteristics of both the facilities and the residents.
  • Additionally, providers, consumers, policymakers, and researchers will be able to describe residential care and assisted living communities and services; describe functionality of residents; and examine service level differences by community size and geographical region.

 

Why should my residential care facility participate?

NSRCF is a large national study that, because of its size and design, can provide information representative of all residential care facilities in the United States. Your participation in NSRCF is important because without your involvement, your facility and others like yours will not be represented in the national description of residential care facilities. By participating, you will be able to contribute to the national description of residential care.

Your participation will also result in more reliable data collection and will permit researchers, policy makers, and the long-term care industry to assess the adequacy of residential care and the future needs of residents in long-term care settings. Failure to participate in the survey lessens the accuracy of data.

Associations, including the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), and the Board and Care Quality Forum (BCQF) encourage your participation in NSRCF [PDF - 53 KB]

 

How was my residential care community selected?

Your facility was randomly chosen to represent not only your facility but also other comparably sized facilities located in your geographic region. Residential care facilities in the United States that are licensed, registered, listed, certified, or otherwise regulated by the state are included in NSRCF. To be eligible to participate, facilities must have four or more licensed, registered, or certified beds, serve a predominately adult population, and provide or offer the following: room and board with at least two meals a day; around-the-clock supervision; and help with personal care such as bathing and dressing or health-related services, such as medications. Facilities licensed exclusively to serve persons with mental illness, mental retardation, or developmental disabilities are ineligible.

A stratified random sample of residential care facilities across four strata (small, medium, large, and extra large) are being selected to participate in the NSRCF. The survey sample for the national study will yield interviews in about 2,250 facilities throughout the United States and from three to six residents per facility, depending on size.

 

How do I know this is a legitimate survey?

NCHS is the federal government’s principal health statistics agency. The initial authority for NCHS surveys is the National Health Survey Act (Public Law 84-652), which was enacted by Congress on July 3, 1956. This Act calls for a continuing health survey and special studies on the Nation’s health. Public Law 84-652 was codified later as Title 42, United States Code, Section 242(k). The NSRCF) is an initiative of NCHS at CDC.

NCHS partners for NSRCF include the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Because of its importance, NSRCF [PDF - 53 KB] has received support from organizations representing residential care providers, including the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), American Health Care Association (AHCA), the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), and the Board and Care Quality Forum (BCQF)

 

Is information about my facility kept confidential?

NCHS has a long history of protecting the privacy of information we collect. NSRCF is authorized by Congress in Section 306 of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 242K), which requires NCHS to collect statistics on a variety of health indicators. Furthermore, in accordance with Section 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 242m); no information collected in this survey may be used for any purpose other than the purpose for which it is collected. Such information may not be published or released in any form if the individual or establishment is identifiable unless the individual or establishment has consented to such release. If any federal employee or contractor gives out confidential information not authorized by law, he or she can be fired, fined, and/or imprisoned.

The information you and your staff supply will be used solely for statistical research and reporting purposes. All information, publications, and data files will be released in such a way that no individual provider, staff, or resident can be identified. For more information, please see the NCHS Confidentiality webpage or contact Mary Moien, NCHS Confidentiality Office at 301 458-4389 or E-mail: mmoien@cdc.gov

 

Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule allow my residential care facility to participate in this survey?

Yes. This study conforms to the Privacy Rule as mandated by HIPPA, where disclosure of resident data is permitted for public health purposes. The Privacy Rule also specifies that in providing information to public health agencies, such as CDC, you may rely on our assurance that the request constitutes the minimum necessary information required. The Privacy Rule permits you to make disclosures without resident authorization for public health purposes and for research that has been approved by an Ethics Review Board (ERB). This survey meets both of those criteria. In addition, NSRCF does not collect any personally identifiable data about residents, such as name or social security number or any protected health information.

If you have questions about your rights as a respondent, you may call the ERB at 1-800-223-8118. Leave a brief message containing your name, phone number, and your question about NSRCF. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. The ERB is an independent board that protects the interest of people who take part in studies. For more information, see the ERB approval letter [PDF - 19 KB] for NSRCF.

NCHS' Privacy and Data Release Policies and Current Legislative Authorities [PDF - 235 KB] web sites provide information for you to verify that you are allowed to disclose to NCHS the information requested by the survey. The web sites include information on the authority under which NCHS is collecting these data and that the data being collected are the minimum information necessary.

 

Who will be collecting this information and how long will it take?

NSRCF is being conducted by RTI International, the survey contractor. A survey representative will contact you for an appointment. You will then receive in the mail, a short pre-interview worksheet to use to gather some information that will save time during the in-person interview. An interviewer will visit your facility at a time that is most convenient to you.

Information is collected by personal interview with directors and caregivers or other designated staff. The survey collects information on the facility and on a random sample of from three to six of its residents, depending on its size. Residents are not contacted at any time. The interview takes from about 2 to 3 1/2 hours to complete, depending on the size of the facility.

 

What type of information is collected?

Information about your facility includes its characteristics such as, physical structure and environment, types of services offered, types of staff who are employed, and policies on admission, retention, and discharge. For residents, data are obtained on demographics, living arrangements, involvement in inside and outside activities, use of services, charges for care, health status, health conditions, and cognitive and physical functioning.

 

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

You can call our toll-free number, 1-800-334-8571 (ext 26675 or ext 25206), to talk with a survey representative about the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities.

If you have any further questions or comments related to participating in this survey, please contact

Lauren Harris-Kojetin
National Center for Health Statistics
Long-term Care Statistics Branch
3311 Toledo Road Room 3431
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782
Phone: 301-458-4369
Fax: 301-458-4693
Email: fti3@cdc.gov

 

 

 

National Survey of Residential Care Facilities graphic

Contact Us:
  • Long-Term Care Statistics Branch
    National Center for Health Statistics
    3311 Toledo Road
    Hyattsville, MD 20782
  • 1-800-232-4636
    (301) 458-4747
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