Senator wants poor facilities listed

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to create an online "watch list" of poor-performing nursing homes. The list would target facilities that consistently fail to meet federal compliance standards.

Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance, based his request on recent findings from the Government Accountability Office. The GAO report, which was released in April, found that nursing homes with a history of quality problems cycled in and out of compliance between fiscal years 2000 and 2005. Also, while some had deficiencies that warranted immediate sanctions, sanctions were often not imposed.

The "watch list" would identify repeat offenders and the sanctions imposed on them, the senator said in a letter to Herb Kuhn, acting administrator of CMS. The information would be a part of the "Nursing Home Compare" Web site. It would be easy to access and peruse online, he said.