Grassley wants action from CMS on survey problems

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Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) is pushing federal regulators to act on survey and certification problems identified in a General Accountability Office report released earlier this year.

Among other criticisms, the report said that although the number of quality problems had dropped, standards for inspections still varied widely among states, and surveyors often understated the severity of nursing home infractions. Grassley, who is the Senate Finance Committee chairman, requested the report. He sent a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Mark McClellan last week, asking for details about corrective plans.

Grassley is calling for less predictable survey timing since it currently "permits nursing home staff to conceal instances of poor quality care." He is requesting other actions as well.

Both the full Grassley letter ( and GAO report ( can be found online.

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