Even with cuts, care should not decline, CMS says

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Study: Nursing home nurses top job-dissatisfaction list
Study: Nursing home nurses top job-dissatisfaction list
Despite looming reimbursement cuts, the quality of care in nursing homes should not decline, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Thursday.

"We do not believe that nursing homes will respond to the payment changes by decreasing the quality of care furnished to patients," a CMS official told the Wall Street Journal. "However, we intend to carefully monitor changes in utilization and staffing patterns to ensure that patients continue to receive high quality care."

Shares of major nursing home chains plunged in August following the news of the agency's 11.1% reduction, and some companies have reported that they plan to reduce expenses. That will likely mean trimming staff, raising the resident's costs, or both.

At the same time, seniors and family members shopping for nursing homes have more tools, such as the Nursing Home Compare website to investigate the quality of care. Mary Johnson, a policy analyst with The Senior Citizens League, also told the Journal that residents should review their nursing home's admissions agreement if they notice an unexpected jump in fees.