CMS To Release Nationwide Quality Guide on Nursing Homes This Fall
CMS this fall will release a guide on the quality of care at nursing homes nationwide as part of a program to allow patients to compare the performance of the facilities, CMS Administrator Tom Scully said, the Chicago Tribune reports. CMS will publish an online guide that rates nursing homes nationwide on nine quality measures, Scully said in an interview at the Catholic Health Association conference in Chicago this week. In addition, the agency will publish full-page advertisements in major newspapers nationwide that include some of the information on area nursing homes (Japsen, Chicago Tribune, 8/8). The guide, which includes six quality measures for chronic care patients and three for post-acute care patients, will rate nursing homes on their treatment of pain and infection, whether they use physical restraints on patients, whether patients have lost an inappropriate amount of weight, the proportion of patients who have bedsores and other quality measures. CMS will base the information on reports that nursing homes must submit to the agency to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. The agency published a similar guide in April that rated nursing homes in six states (California Healthline, 4/25). Scully said, "We want to measure quality, publish quality and get people to focus on quality. Even if no consumers see this stuff, boards of directors of nursing homes will see it and demand their administrators do something about it." According to Scully, nursing homes also can use the guide to convince federal regulators that they should receive increased reimbursements. "If you want the federal government to increase funding, the argument has got to be focused on results," Scully said. CMS plans to expand the program to cover home health care providers by next year and to cover hospitals by 2004 (Chicago Tribune, 8/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.