Design and Operation of the 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities. APPENDIX XII: Frequently Asked Questions

11/01/2011

WHO SPONSORS THIS STUDY?

  • This is a federally-sponsored statistical survey.

  • The government agency sponsors include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. I work for RTI International, a not-for-profit research institute located in North Carolina. RTI is the contractor conducting the interviews.

LETTERS OF SUPPORT RECEIVED FROM THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS

  • National Center for Assisted Living

  • American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging

  • Assisted Living Federation of America

  • American Seniors Housing Association

  • Center for Excellence in Assisted Living

  • Board and Care Quality Forum

DESCRIPTION OF STUDY

  • The National Survey of Residential Care Facilities is the first national study of assisted living and residential care facilities and their residents. The purpose is to collect information about the characteristics of assisted living and residential care facilities, the services they offer, general information on staffing, resident demographics, resident health, and payment options, from a nationally representative sample. A director and/or his/her designee is interviewed, but residents are not interviewed.

WHY STUDY IS IMPORTANT

LONG-TERM CARE POLICY (LONG ANSWERS)

  • Residential care and assisted living facilities are an increasingly important part of the long-term care system. According to some studies, there may be as many as 1.0 million Americans living in residential care facilities, compared to about 1.6 million living or receiving care in nursing homes. Despite the vital role of residential care facilities, the industry and government have little statistically accurate information about these facilities. This survey will help provide that information.

  • With the aging of the population, long-term care is very important. Providers and government officials need to better understand the services that older people and younger persons with disabilities need. Currently there are no data on the broad range of residential care facilities providing services to these individuals. This survey will provide policy makers with the data needed to understand the role of residential care facilities in long-term care.

  • With the advent of a new era of health care reforms, policy makers are revisiting issues related to long-term care. Your answers to the survey will help educate policymakers about residential care in general, and the differences between residential care and other types of long-term care.

LONG-TERM CARE POLICY (SHORT ANSWERS)

  • The findings will provide critical input to national issues on residential care, which is an important component of the long-term care continuum in this country.

  • This information will be used to help facility owners, operators, and health care planners understand and plan for the long-term care needs of the U.S. population. Results will be used to understand how facilities meet the needs of elders and adults with disabilities.

FIRST TIME COLLECTING THIS INFORMATION

  • This is the first ever survey conducted by the federal government to collect this type of information on a scientific, unbiased sample of residential care facilities nationwide.

  • Although information on nursing homes, home health agencies, and hospitals is routinely collected, there is very little national information on residential care and assisted living facilities. This survey will be the first nationally representative survey of residential care facilities and their residents.

YOUR COMMUNITY’S ANSWERS MATTER

  • Participation in the survey will enable facilities like yours to be properly represented in the survey so that providers and policy makers have a better picture of what residential care facilities are like and of the residents they serve. This will be your opportunity to tell us about how things work in your facility.

  • By participating in this survey, you can educate others about services you provide and challenges you face. This, in turn, will help policy makers and other interested parties make informed decisions on issues related to residential care facilities.

  • It is important that your community’s voice is included in this survey’s findings. There is a critical need to know what is happening as of 2010 in long-term care places, such as yours, and the most reliable information comes from conducting interviews directly with the communities themselves.

  • With the current economic challenges facing our country, it is important that all types of communities participate in the survey. This is an opportunity to have your community’s experiences represented in what policymakers consider in planning for the future of long-term care.

  • [PARTICULARLY FOR SMALL PROVIDERS] This study has purposely included small providers like you, because it is important that your experiences in providing for your residents be heard and understood by policymakers and others who plan for the long-term care needs of the country.

IS IT VOLUNTARY? IS IT REQUIRED?

  • Your participation in this study is voluntary. However, your participation is needed to make this study a success. You represent not just your own facility, but also others that are of the same size as yours. If your facility does not participate, its unique qualities will be lost.

DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME

  • We will work around your schedule. We understand if there are interruptions, we will wait while you attend to your scheduled and unscheduled responsibilities.

  • From the interviews we have completed thus far, we know how busy facilities are. We will wait for you. The interviewer will remain as needed during the day of the interview and work around your schedule.

  • The interview can be divided among different people, such as the director and resident care staff. That way, no one person is spending a long time.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?

GENERAL TIMINGS:

  • It depends on the size of your facility. We understand that everyone is very busy. We are very flexible and work around your schedule.

    • If your facility has fewer than 25 residents, about 2 ½ hours.

    • If your facility has between 26–100 residents, about 3 hours.

    • If your facility has more than 100 residents, about 3 ½ hours.

  • We appreciate how busy facilities are. The interviewer will remain as needed and work around your schedule.

  • The interview can be divided among different people such as the director and resident care staff. This will lessen the time for your staff.

TIMINGS PER QUESTIONNAIRE:

  • Telephone screener questionnaire: 10 minutes

  • Facility questionnaire: 75 minutes (1 hour, 15 minutes)

  • Selecting a random sample of residents: 10 minutes

  • Each Resident questionnaire: 20 minutes

WHY/HOW WAS THIS FACILITY SELECTED?

  • Your facility was chosen using a random selection process based on your state’s list of facilities that hold a license as residential care providers.

CAN YOU USE A DIFFERENT FACILITY INSTEAD?

  • This facility was chosen using a scientific process and cannot be replaced. If this facility does not participate, its unique qualities will be lost and the data will overstate other facilities instead.

WHAT’S INVOLVED?

  • The study requires an interviewer to visit your facility/place, to collect information about your facility/place and staff, and to collect service, health, and billing information about a sample of current residents. Residents will not be interviewed.

TYPES OF QUESTIONS IN QUESTIONNAIRES

  • FACILITY

    • The facility questionnaire will ask about occupancy, policies, services, costs to residents, and staffing.

    • The facility questionnaire takes about an hour to complete.

  • RESIDENT

    • The resident questionnaire will ask about the resident’s living arrangements, health status, and costs. Each resident sampled takes about half an hour to complete. No residents are interviewed directly--we talk only with staff.

    • We will select [FILL: 3, 4, or 6] individual residents depending on how many residents you are licensed for. Once the residents are selected, we will need to speak to someone who is both available and familiar with each resident. This person can be the director, a caregiver, or someone else within the facility.

CONFIDENTIALITY

  • (SHORT ANSWER) Confidentiality is ensured by federal law.

  • All data you provide are kept confidential. Although I have to know the name of you and your facility for logistical purposes to set up the appointment, no names are included in the data, that is, not the facility name, your name, or the resident’s names. All data will be analyzed in aggregate so your responses are never identified.

  • Surveys conducted by the federal government typically have a high response rate because respondents are assured about the confidentiality of their data, and sincere efforts are made to reduce respondent burden, and provide accurate, high-quality data. NSRCF is authorized by Congress in Section 306 of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 242K). All information collected in this survey will be held in strict confidence according to law [Section 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 United States Code 242m(d) and the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (PL 107–347)]. Any government staff, contractor, or agent who willfully discloses confidential information may be subject to a jail term or a $250,000 fine.

APPROVALS FROM IRBs/OMB

  • The project has received approval from these bodies: SPECIFY AS NEEDED:

    1. Office of Research Protection at RTI [RTI is the contractor to CDC] under Protocol #12526.

    2. The Research Ethics Review Board of the National Center for Health Statistics in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Protocol #2008-03.

    3. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control number 0920-0780, expiration date 12/31/2012.

CORPORATE CHAIN

  • A letter and packet of information describing this survey has been sent to the corporate office of CHAIN NAME in CITY.

  • Would you still like us to mail information to CONTACT NAME AT CHAIN?

  • To whom should we mail this information?

FOR MORE INFORMATION

ABOUT THE STUDY

ABOUT RIGHTS AS A RESEARCH PARTICIPANT (OR IRB INFORMATION)

  • You can call RTI’s Office of Research Protection at 919-316-3358 or toll free at 1-866-214-2043.

  • You can reach the Research Ethics Review Board at the National Center for Health Statistics toll-free at 1-800-223-8118. Please leave a brief message with your name and phone number. Say that you are calling about Protocol #2008-03.

WHY SHOULD I DO THIS/WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME/MY FACILITY?

LONG VERSION:

  • Although it’s true there are no immediate tangible benefits to you/your facility for taking this survey, your participation is a way to help society and other facilities to benefit. Society and other facilities like yours will benefit if U.S. policymakers have a better understanding of residential care. Right now, there are no accurate statistics on how many older adults and younger adults with disabilities live in residential care, the types of services they typically receive, and the costs of these services. Understanding these issues will help policymakers to plan for ways to care for the increasing numbers of older persons in the U.S.

SHORT VERSION:

  • Although it’s true there are no immediate tangible benefits for taking this survey, we hope you will take the survey as a way to help society and other facilities like yours benefit. Right now, there are no accurate statistics on how many adults need and receive residential care. Society will benefit if policymakers understand these issues and can plan for these needs.

CONFIDENTIALITY--RESIDENTS

  • The project was specifically designed to not collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about residents. We do not collect Medicare numbers, social security numbers or any other personal identifiers.

  • We will ask you to show us a list of your residents, then we will count them. The computer will randomly select 3, 4, or 6 residents depending on the number of licensed beds you have, then we will ask questions about them. We do not ever ask for or record names of residents--we refer to them by initials or however you like--and we do not leave the facility with the resident list. We do not ask any information which could identify the residents.

IF RECEIVED ADVANCE PACKAGE:

  • The brochure in your package, entitled ‘‘How the National Health Care Surveys Keep Your Data Confidential’’ describes the technical procedures which are used to keep your survey answers confidential.

 

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