Report calls for CMS to get tougher with nursing home complaint investigations

Share this article:
Report calls for CMS to get tougher with nursing home complaint investigations
Report calls for CMS to get tougher with nursing home complaint investigations

The Government Accountability Office has released a report calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to implement more oversight into nursing home complaint investigations.

Following inquiries from Congressional leaders, the GAO conducted an analysis of CMS's complaints database, where state agencies report complaints and document their investigation results. The GAO found that state survey agencies received 53,313 complaints about nursing homes during fiscal year 2009. The number varied significantly from state to state: 11 states received 15 or fewer complaints per 1,000 nursing home residents while 14 states received more than 45, according to the report.

Nineteen state agencies had trouble investigating harm-high complaints and incidents within the timetable required. Additionally, the report reveals that CMS oversight of state agencies' complaint investigation processes is flawed due to unreliable data.  

The GAO made several recommendations. It suggested that to ensure reliability, the CMS administrator should identify issues with data quality and clarify guidance to states about how particular fields in the database should be interpreted. This could be as simple as defining what it means to substantiate a complaint, the report says. Another suggested strategy encourages state survey agencies to prioritize complaints based on their level of egregiousness.

Share this article:

More in News

Antipsychotics reduction goal is 25% by end of 2015, CMS and provider groups announce

Antipsychotics reduction goal is 25% by end of ...

Long-term care providers are being asked to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications among residents by 25% by the end of 2015, and 30% by the end of 2016. Providers ...

CDC issues new guidelines on pneumococcal vaccine, says LTC flu vaccination rates remain low

CDC issues new guidelines on pneumococcal vaccine, says ...

Long-term care workers continued to have low rates of flu vaccination last season, despite there being 92% vaccination coverage overall among physicians and nurses, the Centers for Disease Control and ...

AL operators accused of withholding $2M in unpaid overtime, minimum wages ...

Four California assisted living operators are facing eight felony charges related to wage theft, tax and insurance violations, according to local reports.