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The University of Alabama at Birmingham Retirees Association

UAB Retirees FAQ About Health Care

Nursing Home Compare has detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. A nursing home is a place for people who can’t be cared for at home and need 24-hour nursing care.

Search below to find nursing homes based on a location and compare the quality of care they provide and their staffing.

Nursing Home Compare allows you to find and compare nursing homes certified by Medicare and Medicaid. This website contains quality of resident care and staffing information for more than 15,000 nursing homes around the country. Nursing homes provide skilled care to people who can’t be cared for at home and need 24-hour nursing care. Skilled care includes skilled nursing or rehabilitation services to manage, observe, or assess a resident’s care. Examples of skilled care include occupational therapy, wound care, intravenous (IV) therapies, and physical therapy. You can learn more about other types of long-term care facilities here.

The information on Nursing Home Compare can help you learn:

  • How nursing homes have performed on health and fire safety inspections
  • How the nursing home is staffed with nurses and other healthcare providers
  • How well nursing homes care for their residents

If you need someone to help you find a nursing home, here are two companies that offer suggestions and resources for living options that include independent living, memory care facilities, and assisted living options.

Retirement Living
A Place for Mom

Retirement Living provides three categories of information concerning retirement: 1) assistance in either buying a home or information about maintenance or protection for your home; 2) information on various types of retirement facilities, including retirement communities, assisted living, memory care, nursing homes, in home care, and aging in place; and 3) information about retirement planning. This site may be used to search for retirement information in all 50 states just by changing the state when entering the site address in your browser. The service is free to the consumer. Retirement Living may receive compensation from the retirement facilities listed on the website. The compensation may impact how and where companies appear on the website, including the order in which they appear.

“A Place for Mom” helps you locate retirement centers in your immediate area. In three steps you can locate retirement facilities in your zip code. Locations can be found in other areas by changing the zip code. You may also talk with one of over 400 Senior Living Advisors across the U.S. and Canada to assist in your search by doing an assessment of you or your loved one’s lifestyle, care needs, budget, and preferences for senior living. Based on your assessment, the Advisor will send you information on senior living communities tailored to your needs. You may have tours scheduled for you, get tips on looking for the right fit for your needs, and consult with a Senior Living Advisor at any time. When you have selected the right living arrangement, you can get guidance on making the move as smooth as possible at no cost to you. “A Place for Mom” is paid for referrals. Alabama Board of Medical Examiners

The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners has the authority to regulate:

  • Medical doctors (M.D.)
  • Doctors of osteopathy (D. O.)
  • Physician assistants (P.A.)

You can read if the licensed MD, DO, or PA has violated any medical regulations. You can also submit complaints to the Board. Your doctor MAY be using a different name from the one stated on his or her license.

Once you’ve identified your MD, DO, or PA you can click details and look for restrictions on that person. You can also see the names of those registered to provide care under MDs and DOs.

A doctor informs the board if they are a specialist. The board does not verify the information from other sources.

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) website is:

This is the official website for the American Board of Medical Specialties, a not-for-profit organization. You can learn about standards for doctor certification on this website. Board certification requires extra specialty training and passing an exam for each specialty. Following the doctor’s initial certification, Alabama does not require the specialist submit proof of continuing education to ABMS. If your doctor does not have Maintenance of Certification (MOC), ask the doctor about their continuing education in that specialty.

If you cannot find your doctor listed, your doctor MAY be using a different name from the one stated on his or her license.

Physician Compare,, is a government sponsored website. It is funded through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS created Physician Compare in December 2010 as required by the Affordable Care Act. Physician Compare helps you find and compare physicians and other clinicians enrolled in Medicare so that you can make informed decisions about your health care.

The general information on Physician Compare is updated twice a month. Since information can change at any time, you should always contact the clinician or group to verify general information, including practice location(s), whether they’re accepting new patients, and if they accept the Medicare-approved payment amounts.

You can read more about online comparisons of physicians on

The term Preferred Provider means that person has a contract or agreement with the health insurance company. Use other resources to find out if the provider(s) listed with your insurance plan has the training and/or experience to care for you.

The Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) website is: You can search by license number or name.

Hospital Compare,, has information about the quality of care at over 4,000 Medicare-certified hospitals, including over 130 Veterans Administration (VA) medical centers, across the country. Hospital Compare can be used to find hospitals and compare the quality of their care. This is a government-sponsored website (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS). However, the data are at least 2 years old and may not reflect the current status of the facility or practitioner.

The information on Hospital Compare:

  • Helps you make decisions about where you get your health care
  • Encourages hospitals to improve the quality of care they provide. In an emergency, you should go to the nearest hospital. When you can plan ahead, discuss the information you find here with your health care provider to decide which hospital will best meet your health care needs.

Learn more in the Guide to Choosing a Hospital.

Hospital Compare was created through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with organizations representing consumers, hospitals, doctors, employers, accrediting organizations, and other federal agencies.

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, , is a public service provided by The Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. health system.

Leapfrog uses a proprietary methodology which can be found on their site to rate hospitals based on Medicare data. It is well recognized for its work and is considered very credible.

Note that not all hospitals in Alabama are included. Why? Because many hospitals in Alabama do not treat enough Medicare patients (retirees) to accumulate meaningful statistical data.

Other websites, such as, are available to provide additional, more detailed methods to compare hospitals. Leapfrog is easier to navigate.

People who are seeking information or help for opioid addiction can phone the Alabama Department of Public Health at 1-866-264-4073. Someone will answer the phone between 8am and 5pm.

Information about substance abuse and opioids is available at the following websites:

Helpful Links

Links for Retirees
Popular UAB Web Sites
State and Federal Legislators Links
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