Residential Care Community Frequently Asked Questions
NOTICE: The National Study of Long-Term Care Providers (NSLTCP) has completed data collection for the 2016 survey and is no longer accepting questionnaires. The anticipated start of data collection for the 2018 NSLTCP survey is August, 2018. Thank you for your participation in 2016 and we look forward to your continued support and participation in 2018, if your residential care community is sampled.
What is the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers (NSLTCP)?
NSLTCP is a groundbreaking initiative sponsored by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NSLTCP produces reliable national and state statistical estimates, where possible, on the supply, use and characteristics of assisted living and similar residential care communities, adult day services centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, and hospice agencies.
NCHS conducts NSLTCP every two years in order to provide accurate, up-to-date statistical information about residential care communities and other long-term care services providers and the people they serve, and to detect changes that are occurring in the long-term care services industry over time. Results and publications from the 2012 and 2014 NSLTCP waves are available from the NSLTCP Study Results and Publications page.
Why is NSLTCP being conducted?
The number of people in the United States needing long-term care services is increasing and residential care communities are an important part of the long-term care services and supports spectrum. NSLTCP provides an accurate picture of residential care communities and other types of long-term care providers, the range of services they provide, and the characteristics of the people they serve. NSLTCP data provide greater insight into how residential care communities meet the needs of the older population and younger disabled adults, and can help to shape long-term care policies.
How are NSLTCP data collected?
NSLTCP is composed of two types of data: survey questionnaire data for the residential care and adult day services sectors and administrative data for the home health, hospice and nursing home sectors.
NSLTCP survey data are collected from residential care community administrators/directors/operators/managers or designated staff through a questionnaire. RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research organization that is under contract with NCHS to collect the NSLTCP data. RTI International is a designated agent of NCHS.
Starting in August 2016, all residential care communities that have been sampled for the 2016 NSLTCP are being mailed study packages with information on how to complete the questionnaire. All sampled residential care communities have the option to complete and submit the survey either by web using a secure network, or by mailing back the completed hard copy questionnaire using the enclosed return envelope.
In 2016, there are two versions of the Residential Care Community Questionnaire—version A and version B. NCHS uses two questionnaire versions in order to increase content without increasing burden for respondents. In order to produce accurate results, it is important to complete only the version that you receive. To view a copy of the Questionnaires, click on:
- 2016 Residential Care Community Questionnaire Version A [PDF- 495 KB]
- 2016 Residential Care Community Questionnaire Version B [PDF- 491 KB]
For data about the nursing home, home health, and hospice sectors, NCHS uses administrative data (i.e. claims, assessment, and regulatory survey and certification data) collected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) NCHS obtains these administrative data under data use agreements with CMS.
What types of information does the NSLTCP questionnaire collect?
In 2016, there are two versions of the Residential Care Community Questionnaire—version A and version B. NCHS uses two questionnaire versions in order to increase content without increasing burden for respondents.
Both versions of the questionnaires collect the same information about the characteristics of the residential care community and its residents, such as size, ownership, computerized capabilities, services provided, resident demographics and health and physical functioning, and numbers and types of staff, among other topics. The two versions differ in that one version collects information about Alzheimer’s disease services and falls, while the other version collects information about advance directives.
In order to produce accurate results, it is important to complete only the version that you receive.
To view a copy of the Questionnaires, click on:
How long will it take to complete the NSLTCP questionnaire?
The questionnaire takes, on average, about 30 minutes to complete depending on the size of your residential care community.
How was my residential care community selected?
Your residential care community was scientifically and randomly selected to represent not only your residential care community, but also other comparably sized residential care communities like yours in your state and across the United States. Residential care communities licensed to exclusively serve persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities or severe mental illness are excluded. Nursing homes are excluded as well.
Should I complete a questionnaire if I participated in NSLTCP a couple years ago?
Yes. Your participation in this 2016 survey is important. NSLTCP is conducted every two years to produce accurate, up-to-date information about residential care communities, other long-term care services providers, and the people they serve to detect changes in the long-term care industry over time.
Why is it important for my residential care community to participate?
NCHS recognizes that residential care communities are an important part of the long-term care services and support spectrum in the United States. Participating in NSLTCP is a tremendous opportunity to make sure that the residential care sector is accurately represented in an on-going study to track trends in the long-term care services industry. Your participation will help to accurately represent other residential care communities similar to yours, and you cannot be replaced.
What if my organization operates multiple residential care communities?
If your organization operates multiple residential care communities, one or more of your residential care communities may be sampled for NSLTCP. We need a questionnaire completed for each sampled residential care community in your organization. Starting in August 2016, all residential care communities that have been sampled for the 2016 NSLTCP are being mailed study packages with information on how to complete the questionnaire. All sampled residential care communities have the option to complete and submit the survey either by web using a secure network, or by mailing back the completed hard copy questionnaire using the enclosed return envelope.
I am the director of more than one sampled residential care community. The questionnaires I received for each residential care community do not have the same questions. Did I receive the correct questionnaires?
We have two versions of the questionnaire, and some of the questions differ between the two versions. This is intentional. Having two versions allows us to include more questions in the study for data analysis without increasing the amount of time it takes you to complete each of the questionnaires.
How do I know NSLTCP is a legitimate study?
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.
Because of its importance, NSLTCP has received support from national organizations representing residential care communities. The Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL), the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), Argentum (formerly Assisted Living Federation of America-ALFA), LeadingAge, and the National Center for Assisted Living/American Health Care Association (NCAL/AHCA) support NSLTCP and encourage your participation in NSLTCP. These organizations have provided a joint letter of support [PDF – 91 KB].
Is information about my residential care community kept confidential?
Yes. All information collected will be the property of NCHS and kept strictly confidential. The identity of specific residential care communities will not be released in any manner, except to NCHS staff, contractors, and designated agents when required and with necessary controls. Results of the study will be published using only aggregated data that will not allow identification of any individual residential care community or resident.
Our Strictly Confidential Brochure gives more detail about confidentiality. For further information, please see the NCHS Confidentiality page.
Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule allow my residential care community to participate in NSLTCP?
Yes. Since NSLTCP does not collect any protected health information (e.g., personal identifiers such as name, social security number, or birth date of residents), the study is not subject to the Privacy Rule mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In other words, your residential care community can participate in NSLTCP, as the Privacy Rule mandated by HIPAA does not apply to NSLTCP.
How will NSLTCP data be used?
NSLTCP data will be used by the U.S. Congress and other public health policy makers, government agencies, the long-term care industry, academic institutions, professional associations, and health services researchers, as well as the media, to describe and understand the changes that occur in the delivery of long-term care services.
The NSLTCP Study Results and Publications page contains a variety of free reports and other products that have been published using data from previous NSLTCP waves. If you would like to be notified when new NSLTCP products are available, we invite you to subscribe to the NCHS long-term care listserv.
Whom can I contact if I have additional questions?
You can call our toll-free number 1-866-245-8078 to talk with a study representative about the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers.
If you have any further questions or comments related to participating in this study, please contact:
National Center for Health Statistics
Chief, Long-Term Care Statistics Branch
3311 Toledo Road, Room 3419
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782
- Page last reviewed: February 9, 2017
- Page last updated: February 9, 2017
- Content source: