CMS Administrator Focuses on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

April 18, 2019
Health Policy

This week, Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), posted a blog about CMS’ efforts to ensure quality and safety in nursing homes. The administrator noted that CMS will be undertaking a comprehensive review of regulations, guidelines, internal structures, and processes related to safety and quality. “We have demonstrated our commitment to this path by developing a five-part plan to ensure the care provided in America’s nursing homes is of the highest possible quality.” noted Verma.

The five-part plan includes:

  1. Strengthen Oversight—Continuing to work with State Survey Agencies (SSA) to oversee nursing homes and revisiting CMS’ oversight of SSA performance by clarifying expectations and setting clear timelines for SSAs to review allegations of abuse and neglect.
  2. Enhance Enforcement—Working to improve and strengthen enforcement policies to hold nursing homes accountable for the care they provide. As part of this effort, CMS is developing new ways to root out bad actors and repeat offenders.
  3. Increase Transparency—Continuing to focus on efforts around the Nursing Home Compare website along with better informing the public when CMS terminates agreements with nursing homes and making long-term care surveyor training available online.
  4. Improve Quality—Developing quality measures that score providers based on patient outcomes, not adherence to processes. CMS also is investing in programs that focus on key areas of nursing home care to help achieve higher quality.
  5. Put Patients Over Paperwork—Developing regulatory strategy in a way that puts patient quality and safety first while removing unnecessary burdens on providers that create staffing challenges and increase cost without increasing quality. CMS wants to make sure providers spend time caring for residents instead of completing unnecessary paperwork.

Click here to read the blog in its entirety.