DEFINITION of 'Nursing Home Placement Service'

A nursing home-placement service is a business that specializes in helping families and patients find the best live-in care facility for their needs. Nursing home placement companies provide services such as recommending facilities, accompanying potential residents and their families on facility tours, and helping potential residents and their families negotiate a contract once they’ve chosen a nursing home. These services are free for clients -- the placement services are paid a commission by the homes where their clients decide to live.

BREAKING DOWN 'Nursing Home Placement Service'

A well-run nursing home-placement service will have a staff knowledgeable in the care standards and the complaint and violation histories of area nursing homes. They will only partner with reputable facilities that are licensed and in good standing, and they will constantly keep up-to-date on facilities’ reputations, which can change at any time. One way to do this is by keeping in touch with the residents they’ve already placed to see how satisfied they are with the facility they’ve chosen. Maintaining an ongoing relationship with clients who have already been placed also lets the placement service learn more about the personalities of each facility so they can continue to make customized recommendations for future clients based on their needs, personalities and budgets. 

Private and semi-private rooms in nursing home facilities are not cheap. The median cost per year for a private room in a nursing home in the United States is nearly $98,000, according to a 2017 survey by Genworth Financial. This amount varies by state and depends on many other factors. Nursing home-placement service staff can help clients make affordable choices. 

Potential Pitfalls of Using a Nursing Home-Placement Service

A potential conflict of interest does exist with nursing home-placement services. Because they are paid by the facilities they place clients in, there is a financial incentive to recommend a facility that pays the highest referral fees instead of one that is the best choice for the patient. Consumers should investigate the reputation of any nursing home-placement service they are considering and ask about its compensation model to make sure it is transparent about how it gets paid for its services. Consumers should independently verify any information they receive from the placement service about a particular nursing home’s services, fees and violation history.

Another potential conflict is that a placement service may not recommend an ideal nursing home if it doesn't have a relationship with that home because the company won’t earn any money by recommending it. 

That being said, an honest, well-run nursing home-placement service can be a great help to consumers by simplifying the complex process of researching and selecting a nursing home. For more information, see How to Pick the Right Nursing Home and Things Nursing Homes Are Not Allowed to Do.



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