The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced plans to post new information required by the Affordable Care Act on Nursing Home Compare.
The Nursing Home Compare website is a valuable resource for individuals and families faced with the decision of selecting a nursing home. As an aside, this new information is required under President Obama’s health care reform efforts. There will be three changes to the Nursing Home Compare website:
The first change will be to add information to allow consumers to more directly file complaints about nursing homes with State Survey Agencies. These changes include adding links from Nursing Home Compare to State complaint websites and making State phone numbers and fax numbers more prominent on Nursing Home Compare. CMS is also adding a standardized complaint form that consumers can use in cases where they prefer to submit a complaint by fax.
The second change (effective April 23, 2011) will add a more visible consumer rights section that clearly spells out resident and consumer rights and provides more information about courses of action that consumers can take if they feel that their rights are being violated.
Finally, in July 2011, CMS will make an additional change to Nursing Home Compare to display information for each nursing about the number of substantiated complaints received and about the number of enforcement actions taken against the facility.
My Take: These changes are substantial and will be of great benefit to everyone who takes advantage of this information BEFORE placing a loved one in a nursing home.