For years we’ve been telling you about the Nursing Home Compare 5-star ratings posted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The ratings help consumers evaluate the quality and safety of nursing homes across the country.
Today, CMS has made three changes to Nursing Home Compare:
- Information about how consumers can file complaints about nursing homes with State Survey Agencies. There will be links directly to state complaint websites, easy access to phone numbers and fax numbers, and a standardized complaint form.
- More visible consumer rights section, including what courses of action consumers can take if they feel their rights have been violated. There will also be information about how to choose a nursing home, and about the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program.
- A “freeze” in the quality measure data and the 5-star quality measure ratings on the website for six months. Although ratings are usually updated every quarter, this freeze will allow for transition to new and improved software. The freeze will start in October 2011, and new data will be available again in early 2012.
In July 2011, there will be an additional change: The website will display information for each nursing home about the number of substantiated complaints received, and about the number of enforcement actions (specifically Civil Money Penalties and Denials of Payment for New Admissions) that have been levied
To visit the Nursing Home Compare website, click here: Nursing Home Compare