CMS to post more nursing home deficiency data online next month

Citing the desire for the public to know more about nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will make more information about nursing home deficiencies available online next month, according to a recent memorandum.

CMS began posting deficiency report information on the Nursing Home Compare and Five-Star Nursing Home Quality Rating System websites last July. The online materials, based on data from Form CMS-2567, Statement of Deficiencies and Plan of Correction, currently include the most recent standard health survey report and complaint surveys going back 15 months.

Starting in April, CMS plans to make older information available and to provide more detail about the deficiencies identified in these reports, according to the March 22 memo from Thomas E. Hamilton, director, Survey and Certification Group.

“We plan to expand the time period for which CMS-2567 reports are published (from the current single survey cycle to a period encompassing the preceding three standard health surveys and three years of complaint surveys),” Hamilton wrote. “Further, to improve the public’s ability to interpret CMS-2567 findings, we also plan to add indicators for the scope and severity of each deficiency cited on the forms.”

CMS does not post plans of correction (PoCs) online, and demand for these will likely increase as more deficiency information is made public, according to the memo. People can request the PoCs from CMS State Survey Agencies or directly from facilities, and federal law mandates the plans must be provided upon request. However, states already are supposed to post facility PoCs online, and CMS does link to state websites through Nursing Home Compare.