What Does Deficiency Free Mean?

Learn more about what it means to earn a Deficiency Free designation
What Does Deficiency Free Mean?

The fundamental value of any senior living community lies in its ability to provide a safe and top quality living experience for residents. Because providing these services to seniors is so important, each state is responsible for evaluating how well senior living communities operating within their geographical area comply with regulations regarding quality of care.

Additionally, in order for a senior living community to become and retain its status as a certified Medicare and Medicaid provider, it must satisfactorily pass a compliance evaluation each year. A highly favorable result of that state compliance survey is to receive a Deficiency Free designation.

Let’s take a look at the process for obtaining a Deficiency Free rating and what goes into earning this important achievement.  

What is a Deficiency Free Rating?  

When a senior living community has earned a Deficiency Free designation, it has accomplished a goal that is not easily attainable. This rating means that a community is being operated in total compliance with state and federal regulations in the key areas of resident care, services and staffing regulations. A Deficiency Free status illustrates that a community is highly dedicated to providing the very best services available for its residents.  

Cheerful senior couple preparing vegan meal in kitchen

How is a Deficiency Free Designation Granted?    

The criteria for earning a Deficiency Free rating is quite complex, but the key evaluation areas can be summed up in these categories.  

Quality of Care

Quality of Life

A community’s ability to provide an outstanding quality of life for its residents is vitally important. State evaluations are done to determine how well the community is doing in the areas of accommodating residents’ needs, creating a home like atmosphere that values respect and dignity, as well as providing meaningful social and recreational activities.

Community Practices

In this category, a community is assessed for its ability to provide comprehensive and compassionate resident care, with no evidence of abuse or neglect present. Regulators evaluate how residents are treated not only physically, but also from an emotional standpoint. A standardized and documented approach to community practices is essential for a Deficiency Free rating.


This area focuses on ensuring that a community has the proper amount and type of qualified staff to support and care for residents. A community’s staff is the foundation of all the care and services provided, so it is vital that its professional team is performing at the highest level of care and competency.     

Smiling doctor visiting with senior man on couch

Frontier Senior Living is Here to Help

Everyone at Frontier is fully dedicated to providing the best senior living community services available, which is why a number of our communities have earned the title of deficiency free. Some communities have even earned it multiple years running.

We have helped many families find the right community to fully meet their loved one’s unique needs. If you would like to learn more about our beautiful properties, we cordially invite you to schedule a visit, take a tour, and speak with our knowledgeable and compassionate staff.

Find a community near you
that perfectly fits your needs.

Nearby Communities

The Parc at Harbor View Senior Living

46 Lincoln Street
Winthrop, Massachusetts 02152
(857) 349-5044
Levels of Care:

Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care

Keepsake Village of Columbus Memory Care

2564 Fox Pointe Drive
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(812) 900-4936
Levels of Care:

Assisted Living, Memory Care

The Preserve at Hickory Woods Senior Living

Nashville, Tennessee 37013
Levels of Care:

Assisted Living, Memory Care