State agencies called too lax

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Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs to toughen up oversight of complaints about nursing homes, investigators say.

The Government Accountability Office released a report in May that said state survey agencies often do not follow up on complaints in a timely manner, or have reliable data to work with. Report authors noted that states often do not address “underlying” causes or their own shortcomings, which might include staffing shortages.

The GAO report said 19 state agencies had trouble investigating harm-high complaints and incidents within the timetable required.

The GAO said CMS should clarify data quality and definitions with states.

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