CMS launching tool on nursing home website to warn of abuse violations

Later this month, the Trump administration will add an alert to its Nursing Home Compare website to warn consumers about homes that have been flagged for violations including abuse and neglect.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said the addition of the consumer alert icon is part of a larger approach to boost nursing home safety and quality.

“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,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement Monday.

Nursing Home Compare already enables consumers to determine whether a nursing home meets federal standards on health and safety or staffing, among other things. But consumers could only learn about prior instances of abuse after jumping through several hoops.

“Through today’s action, CMS is minimizing the steps, making it easier than ever for patients, residents and their families and caregivers to quickly identify nursing homes with past citations for abuse,” the agency said.

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The alert icon will go up Oct. 23 and will detail facilities that had inspection reports on either abuse of a resident in the past year or abuse that could have led to the harm of a resident in the past two years.

“There are many factors that indicate a nursing home’s quality, and the Star Ratings may not capture some nuances,” CMS said.

CMS’ announcement comes a few months after a Senate report revealed the government had identified several more troubled nursing homes than it initially disclosed to the public. CMS back in June released a list of nearly 400 poorly performing nursing homes that qualified for but didn’t receive higher federal scrutiny.