CMS Making Changes to Nursing Home Compare Website, Solicits Feedback

The Centers for Medicare and Medicare are soliciting feedback on website changes for its Nursing Home Compare website.

“CMS will be evaluating the website in a systematic way, including seeking comments from stakeholders and visitors to the site,” said the announcement. “Based on these evaluations, CMS will continually making revisions to the website in the future.”

As part of the Affordable Care Act, the website is required to provide a wide variety of new information at different time intervals.  On April 23rd, CMS will make three changes to Nursing Home Compare.  The first change will give consumers the ability to add information and directly file complaints about nursing homes with State Survey Agencies.

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“These changes include adding links from Nursing Home Compare to State complaint websites and making State phone numbers and fax numbers more prominent on Nursing Home Compare,” said the agency. “CMS is also adding a standardized complaint form that consumers can use in cases where they prefer to submit a complaint by fax.”

The second change will add a more visible consumer rights section that spells out resident and consumer rights and provides more information about courses of action that consumers can take if they feel that their rights are being violated. This section will also have information on how to choose a nursing home and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program.

Finally, in addition to changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act, on April 23 CMS will “freeze” quality measure data and the five star quality measure ratings currently on the website for a period of six months. The quality measures displayed on Nursing Home Compare since January 2011 reflect MDS 2.0 data submitted during quarters one, two and three of 2010. Historically, CMS has updated quality measure data each quarter. However, new MDS 3.0- derived quality measure data are not yet available for display, so CMS will retain the current QM scores and star ratings until October 2011.

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View a copy of the announcement here.