/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: NURSING HOME COMPARE WEB SITE UPDATED

Friday, April 25, 2008

NURSING HOME COMPARE WEB SITE UPDATED

CRITICAL NEW INFORMATION ADDED TO NURSING HOME COMPARE WEB SITE
MULTI-YEAR PLAN FOR IMPROVED NURSING HOME QUALITY ALSO RELEASED

Medicaid beneficiaries and families searching for top quality long-term care services can find critical new information added today to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Web site “Nursing Home Compare.”

For the first time, information about nursing homes on the Compare Web site will list whether a home is or has been on CMS’ special focus facility (SFF) list. The agency’s SFF initiative gives heightened scrutiny to nursing homes that have a history of poor performance or repeated violations of state and federal health and safety rules.

“Today’s expansion of information on Nursing Home Compare will give beneficiaries a more complete picture of a nursing home’s history of providing quality care,” CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems said.

The SFF initiative was created because a number of facilities were consistently providing poor quality of care, yet were periodically instituting enough improvement that they would pass one survey only to fail the next (for many of the same problems as before). Such facilities with a “yo-yo” compliance history rarely addressed underlying systemic problems that were giving rise to repeated cycles of serious deficiencies.

In November 2007, the agency began publishing a list of Medicare and Medicaid participating nursing homes that have a history of serious quality of care problems and had failed to show significant improvement. In February 2008, CMS took the next step and published an updated, expanded list of nursing homes in the SFF initiative and included the category they fell within such as new additions, not improved, improving, recently graduated or no longer in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

As of April 2008, there are 134 SFFs, out of about 16,000 active nursing homes. CMS works closely with states to select participants and as homes improve their quality of care and “graduate” from the program, or fail to improve and are terminated from Medicare and Medicaid, new homes are added to the list. This movement of homes off the list allows more facilities with problems to be added as the program continues.

Once a facility is selected as an SFF, the state survey agency conducts twice the number of standard surveys and will apply progressive enforcement until the nursing home either (a) significantly improves and graduates from the SFF initiative, (b) is granted additional time due to promising developments, or (c) is terminated from Medicare and/or Medicaid. CMS and the state can more quickly terminate a facility that is placing residents in immediate jeopardy.

Nursing homes that have the SFF designation, including information about that designation, will now be noted on Nursing Home Compare, which can be accessed at www.medicare.gov. The site helps families find nursing homes in their area. Information about the homes includes performance scores on quality measures, staffing information and a three-year history of the home’s health, safety and fire inspection reports. The Web site will be updated with new information quarterly.

“Today’s action is the next step in our commitment to bring transparency and accountability to the process families must go through to find the care that is best for them and their family member,” Weems said.

tag: , , ,

No comments:

LinkWithin

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin