CMS Announces Efforts to Improve Patient Safety, Quality of Care in Nursing Homes

November 30, 2018
Health Policy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced upcoming efforts to support better care and outcomes for nursing home residents under the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP). This three-year initiative aims to improve residents’ quality of life by equipping nursing home staff, administrators, and stakeholders with technical tools and assistance to enhance resident care.

As part of the CMPRP, CMS will develop a variety of work products for nursing home professionals such as staff competency assessment tools, instructional guides, training webinars, and technical assistance seminars. These supports aim to help staff reduce adverse events, improve dementia care, and strengthen staffing quality, including by reducing staff turnover and enhancing performance.

CMS released a first tool kit in the CMPRP series, the Nursing Home Staff Competency Assessment, and supporting materials; see the Downloads section of the CMPRP webpage. The competency assessment is designed to help nursing home frontline and management staff evaluate their skills. It includes several questions to gauge staff knowledge about behavioral, technical, and resident-based capabilities.

This is one of several initiatives CMS has underway to strengthen safety and health outcomes for nursing home residents. For example, the Nursing Home Compare website and facility Star Ratings are key resources CMS provides to help consumers and their caregivers make informed health care decisions. These resources are updated and expanded frequently, including the addition of payroll-based data on nursing home staffing, which can serve as one indicator of the quality of care. In addition to the CMPRP, CMS also operates the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, which improves the lives of nursing home residents by helping reduce the rate of inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic drugs in this population.

The CMPRP is funded by federal civil money penalties, which are fines nursing homes must pay CMS by law when they are noncompliant with certain regulations and there are serious concerns about the safety and quality of care they provide. Most penalties collected are returned to states to fund state-based projects that benefit nursing home residents, and CMS retains a portion of the funds for similar federal initiatives. Under this new program, CMS will collaborate with industry experts to develop an ongoing series of tool kits and technical assistance intended to help nursing home staff and management improve care delivery and residents’ quality of life.

For additional information on the CMPRP, please visit this website