OBJECTIVES: To determine whether the quality of heart failure (HF) care of hospitalized nursing home (NH) residents is different from that of patients admitted from other locations. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. SETTING: Nursing home residents discharged from hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older. MEASUREMENTS: Subjects were discharged with a primary discharge diagnosis of HF in Alabama in 1994. They were categorized as having been admitted from a NH or other locations. Bivariate logistic regression analysis was used to estimate crude odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for left ventricular function (LVF) evaluation and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor use for NH residents relative to nonresidents. Multivariate generalized linear models were developed to determine independence of associations. RESULTS: Subjects (N = 1,067 years) had a mean age ± standard deviation of 79 ± 7.4, 60% were female, and 18% were African Americans. Fewer NH residents (n = 95) received LVF evaluation (39% vs 60%, P < .001) and ACE inhibitors (50% vs 72%, P = .111). NH residents had lower odds for LVF evaluation (OR = 0.42, 95% CI = 0.27-0.64). The odds for ACE inhibitor use, although of similar magnitude, did not reach statistical significance (OR = 0.40, 95% CI = 0.12-1.28). After adjustment of patient and care characteristics, admission from a NH was significantly associated with lower LVF evaluation (adjusted OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.49-0.82) but not with ACE inhibitor use (adjusted OR = 0.59, 95% CI = 0.16-2.14). CONCLUSIONS: Quality of HF care received by hospitalized NH residents was lower than that received by others. Further studies are needed to determine reasons for the lack of appropriate evaluation and treatment of NH patients with HF who are admitted to hospitals.