Trump Administration to Enhance Transparency about NF Abuse and Neglect
Earlier this week, the Trump Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a major enhancement of the information available to nursing home residents, families, and caregivers on the Agency’s Nursing Home Compare website. Later this month, CMS will for the first time display a consumer alert icon next to nursing homes that have been cited for incidents of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. By making this information accessible and understandable, CMS believes it is empowering consumers to make the right decisions for themselves and their loved ones. This critical move toward improved transparency is part of the Agency’s five-part approach to ensuring safety and quality in nursing homes, which Administrator Seema Verma announced in April 2019.
“The Trump Administration and CMS are committed to ensuring that nursing home residents are safe from abuse and neglect. Through the ‘transparency’ pillar of our five-part strategy to ensure safety and quality in nursing homes, we are giving residents and families the ability to make informed choices,” said Administrator Seema Verma. “With today’s action, the Trump Administration is putting critical information at consumers’ fingertips, empowering them and incentivizing nursing homes to compete on cost and quality.”
Beginning October 23, 2019, the new alert icon will be added to the Nursing Home Compare website for facilities cited on inspection reports for one or both of the following: 1) abuse that led to harm of a resident within the past year; and 2) abuse that could have potentially led to harm of a resident in each of the last two years. To ensure CMS is providing the latest information, the icon will be updated monthly, at the same time CMS inspection results are updated. This icon will supplement existing information, including the Nursing Home Five-Star Ratings, helping consumers develop a more complete understanding of a facility’s quality.
Today’s announcement is part of CMS’ five-part approach to ensuring safety and quality in America’s nursing homes. The approach includes the following pillars: Strengthening Oversight, Enhancing Enforcement, Increasing Transparency, Improving Quality, and Putting Patients over Paperwork. This framework is informing all CMS work related to nursing home safety.