Posted: July 16, 2020

How a Facility is Scored

The Choose Well member directory is a trusted, community-built scoring system that families use to help find an assisted living home for their loved ones. The rating system was carefully developed by the County of San Diego in partnership with local assisted living and community-based organizations1.

A facility’s score ranges from 70 to 100 and is computed based on the findings of state inspections conducted by the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing. Scores below 70 are listed as “Participant”. An inspection is performed at least annually for each licensed facility. A state inspector, also referred to as a Licensing Program Analyst (LPA), makes an unannounced visit to the facility to perform a detailed evaluation. During the visit, the LPA documents the facility’s compliance with Health and Safety Codes and California Code of Regulations that ensure the well-being of the residents. 

A written facility evaluation report detailing the results of the inspection is posted online shortly after the LPA’s visit. If the facility passes the inspection with no deficiencies, they are noted as “substantially compliant” in the report. Choose Well analyzes five years of inspection reports and awards a badge for each year that the member facility has substantial compliance. The badge is highly visible in the facility’s Choose Well profile for the public to see.

When the LPA finds a deficiency, he or she notes the health code that was violated in the report. Choose Well looks for violations from 86 different regulations and groups them into 11 easy-to-understand categories2. More details on the categories can be found here: There are two types of violations, Type A and Type B. A Type A violation is more serious as it poses an immediate threat to a resident’s safety. A Type B violation is less severe as it is a potential safety issue rather than an immediate threat. Choose Well has created a five-star rating system that helps consumers to visualize how well a facility is adhering to the 86 identified regulations across the 11 quality areas. 

The star-based data visuals can be viewed under the “Facility Rating Details” tab of each member profile.

Choose Well subtracts half a star for each Type B violation, and a whole star for each Type A violation in each Quality Measure.

The violations are analyzed from the last five years for each Quality Measure, weighted on importance, and combined to form the Choose Well score. Below is a table of how each Quality Measure is weighted:


Other factors that affect the Choose Well Score


A facility earns 2 bonus points for each year they get a clean inspection. Choose Well also has a transparency program that increases a facility’s score by up to 5 points if they provide the following documents on their profile:

  • Price List
  • Fall Prevention Program
  • Dementia Plan of Operation
  • Infectious Disease Control Policy
  • License & Approvals

Transparency documents are available in the “Documents” tab of the facility profile if the member provides them.

1 Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR), under contract with the County of San Diego, originally developed the scoring system.

2 Choose Well uses a subset of the regulations and codes to compute the score. Not all codes are factored into the score.