Why it matters: Drawing on government reports posted online last month, the journalism watchdog group ProPublica has launched a new application, called Nursing Home Inspect. The tool searches and analyzes details of recent nursing home inspections, most completed since January 2011. ProPublica's Charles Ornstein and Lena Groeger report the data details nearly 118,000 deficiencies during government inspections at 14,565 nursing homes nationwide:
"Users can search across all the reports by any keyword, such as elope — a feature the federal government's official nursing home website doesn't have. The results can then be sorted by both the severity of the violation and by state.
"Although more elderly people are choosing to live at home or in assisted-living facilities, about 1.5 million people still live in nursing homes, according to the 2010 Census. Of those, more than 1.2 million were 65 and older.
"For decades, federal auditors have flagged dangerous and neglectful conditions in U.S. nursing homes and faulted the governmentís oversight. As the examples above suggest, the problems havenít gone away."
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