Medicaid in Residential Care. Limitations


This study analyzes the 2010 NSRCF, which is the most current and comprehensive source of nationally representative data on RCFs. This research study provides the first comprehensive examination of RCFs serving Medicaid residents and of the characteristics of Medicaid beneficiaries living in those facilities. Like all studies, however, it has limitations. First, the survey was designed to analyze facilities and residents at the national level; although state licensure requirements vary by state, the NSRCF is not designed to produce state estimates. Second, the measures of Medicaid facility and resident participation were self-reports and were not verified against Medicaid agency records. Third, although data are available on the provision of services, the NSRCF was not explicitly designed to address questions of the adequacy of RCF services and staffing. Fourth, residents were not directly interviewed for this survey; facility staff reported resident health and functional status based on their knowledge of the resident and facility records. To the extent that their knowledge is limited or biased, their reports may contain errors. Finally, facilities that exclusively serve people with severe mental illness or intellectual and developmental disabilities were excluded from the survey because of its focus on facilities that serve older people and younger people with physical disabilities. Thus, the survey does not fully represent younger people living in RCFs.

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