April 16, 2019
The quality and beneficiary safety of nursing home care is under scrutiny on multiple fronts. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded in a recent report that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) must address gaps in the federal oversight of nursing home abuse investigations that have occurred in Oregon for the past 15 years. At the same time it has been reported in the trade press that Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is preparing to launch an investigation of nursing home safety and oversight.
Seemingly in response to these recent developments, CMS Administrator Seema Verma detailed in a recent blog posting the agency’s efforts to ensure quality and safety in nursing homes. The Administrator indicated that the agency will be undertaking a comprehensive review of their regulations, guidelines, internal structure and processes related to safety and quality in nursing homes. At the same time, the Administration has garnered criticism from some stakeholders for walking back some of the more aggressive regulations currently in place which has resulted in reduction in fines to nursing homes.
All of these factors indicate that nursing home quality and safety issues will continue to be in the news for the near future.
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