Overhaul of Nursing Home Compare website is complete

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The redesign of the federal Nursing Home Compare website, which lets consumers file complaints more easily and compare facilities based on quality measures, is complete.

The overhaul — which was conducted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and mandated by the Affordable Care Act — gives consumers more tools to directly file complaints with state survey agencies, providing links to phone and fax numbers and standardized complaint forms. In addition, the site will make public the complaints states receive about specific facilities.

The new Nursing Home Compare site also includes more quality of care information. Regulators will assess resident experiences at long- and short-term care facilities and publish the results on the site. Quality of care indicators reported on the site include: pain levels as reported by residents, the use of physical restraints, self-reported falls, pressure ulcer rates and measures of general well-being. The site will also publish data about the number of civil money penalties and similar enforcement actions against a nursing home over the last three years.

Finally, as CMS announced in April, the site will “freeze” quality measure data and the Five Star quality measure ratings currently on the website for a period of six months. Regulators will be collecting quality measure data from the new MDS 3.0 resident assessment tool during this time.