Patients and Families can make informed choices in selecting a nursing home thanks to a new level of transparency.
Trump Admin Nursing Home Data Increases Transparency
A consumer alert icon, shown above, will appear on the CMS Nursing Home Compare site, making it easier for nursing home residents and their families to identify facilities cited for abuse or neglect.
In October the Trump Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made the announcement that the first of a five-part effort toward improving the safety and quality of America’s nursing homes has been put into action. With a nod to the “Increasing Transparency” pillar of the plan, the Agency will implement a consumer alert icon on its Nursing Home Compare website. This icon will be displayed next to any nursing home that has received citations for occurrences of neglect or abuse, simplifying the process by which people can investigate nursing home facilities during the selection process.
“We are giving residents and families the ability to make informed choices,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said, emphasizing the Administration’s and Agency’s commitment to making nursing home patients safe from neglect and abuse.
The addition of the icon to the Nursing Home Compare website serves to enhance the site’s previous offering of information. For example, the Nursing Home Five-Star Ratings, which inform consumers about the performance of a facility across a range of areas but do not speak to allegations of abuse, will remain on the site; the addition of an alert icon indicating an abuse complaint provides an additional piece of information regarding that facility to consumers. Taken together with other information available on Nursing Home Compare, such as staffing, federal health and safety inspections, and quality performance, consumers are given a clearer picture of a nursing home’s overall quality and can better make the right decisions for their loved ones.
The icon serves to clearly and openly present a piece of information that previously required multiple steps to uncover on Nursing Home Compare. According to an article on the CMS website, the icon will reflect inspection reports for a facility cited either for “abuse that led to harm of a resident within the past year” or “abuse that could have potentially led to harm of a resident in each of the last two years.” Committed to providing the latest information to consumers, CMS will update the icon on a monthly basis as CMS inspection results come in. The frequent updating of the icon also means those facilities that have been flagged with the icon can have it removed should recent inspections reveal that steps have been taken to remedy abuse or potential abuse issues. This, said Verma, is another positive aspect of the transparency: encouraging nursing home facilities to strive to meet quality standards.
“[This action] is incentivizing nursing homes to compete on cost and quality.”
In addition to Increasing Transparency, the other pillars of the CMS program to boost nursing home safety are Strengthening Oversight, Enhancing Enforcement, Improving Quality, and Putting Patients over Paperwork.
Finding the Right Facility for Your Loved One
The search for the right nursing home for your loved one can make for a complicated process. Having the right information available on choosing a nursing home can make all the difference toward making the best decision possible. Should you need assistance in selecting a Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, or New Jersey nursing home or if you suspect abuse or neglect has occurred within a Philadelphia/PA or NJ facility in which your loved one lives, please contact nursing home abuse and neglect attorney Brian P. Murphy to learn about your rights and your your legal options.