Improving nursing home quality, safety

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the federal agency responsible for Medicare and Medicaid programs and compliance with federal nursing home standards. (States contract with CMS to conduct annual nursing home surveys.) Since 1998 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a series of reports on nursing home quality and safety and weaknesses in federal and state oversight. Today GAO released an assessment of CMS's progress in addressing oversight deficiencies. GAO found a decline in nursing homes with serious quality problems but noted two continuing issues: inconsistency in how states conduct surveys and understatement of quality problems.

One of the initiatives CMS has taken to improve its services is a Web site, Nursing Home Compare, to provide information on nursing homes in each state.

NURSING HOMES: Despite Increased Oversight, Challenges Remain in Ensuring High-Quality Care and Resident Safety, GAO-06-117
     Full report (pdf, 1.62MB, 81p.)
     Highlights (pdf, 60KB, 1p.)
     Abstract (html)

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