Scrutiny of skilled nursing facilities intensifies with Nursing Home Compare overhaul

The government’s Nursing Home Compare website now includes more information about surveyor inspection findings and antipsychotic medication usage, officials announced Tuesday.

Additional tweaks to the site include updates to existing quality measure categories and more finely detailed, ACA-stipulated information about nursing home owners.

The revamped site, which received over 500,000 visitors during the first half of 2012, now also streamlines data that researchers can access through mobile devices. The site is intended to give consumers and others a detailed look at nursing homes’ operations and performances. The website also underwent a redesign last year.

Skilled nursing providers have long been skeptical of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-powered site, in part, due to its use of self-reported information. Others have suggested the site needs quality measures that reflect the impact of short-term rehab residents.

With regards to adding antipsychotic data on Nursing Home Compare, CMS Deputy Chief Medical Officer Shari Ling, M.D., said “What we are trying to get to is inappropriate use.”

“Zero is not the right number because there will be instances where patient safety or employee safety means there needs to be opportunities to use these drugs,” she said. “The use should, however, follow an appropriate diagnosis.”