To evaluate the perceived usefulness of publicly reported nursing home quality indicators.
Primary data were collected from October 2013 to August 2014 among a convenience sample of persons (or family member) recently admitted or anticipating admission to a nursing home within 75 miles of the city of Philadelphia.
Structured interviews were conducted to assess the salience of data on the Medicare Nursing Home Compare website, including star ratings, clinical quality measures, and benchmarking of individual nursing home quality with state and national data.
Interviews were transcribed verbatim, independently coded by two reviewers, and agreement determined. A thematic analysis of transcripts was undertaken.
Thirty‐five interviews were completed. Eighty‐three percent ( = 29) were caregivers and 17 percent ( = 6) were residents. Star ratings, clinical quality measures, and benchmarking information were salient to decision making, with preferred formats varying across participants. Participants desired additional information on the source of quality data. Confusion was evident regarding the relationship between domain‐specific and overall star quality ratings.
The Nursing Home Compare website provides salient content and formats for consumers. Increased awareness of this resource and clarity regarding the definition of measures could further support informed decision making regarding nursing home choice.