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June 7, 2019

CMS to publish its 'secret' list of nursing facilities with record of poor care

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    CMS announced Wednesday that it will post and update a monthly list of nursing homes that federal inspectors determined have a "persistent record" of health, safety, and sanitary issues.

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    The announcement comes two days after Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) published the previously undisclosed list containing nearly 400 nursing home facilities and publicly criticized the agency's decision to withhold the list, Politico reports.

    The list includes nursing facilities that were candidates for CMS' Special Focus Facilities (SFF) program, which is intended for facilities that have demonstrated serious and ongoing health and safety violations. CMS publicly discloses the names of nursing facilities that are selected for the SFF program on CMS' Nursing Home Compare, but it does not include facilities that are candidates for the program.

    However, Casey and Toomey argued that patients have a right to see the full list, noting there just 88 slots in CMS' program and hundreds of candidates.

    The senators on Monday unveiled the "secret" list, which identified nearly 400 nursing home facilities that federal inspectors found have a "persistent record" of health, safety, and sanitary issues, and called on the agency to publicly share that data in the future.

    CMS to publish previously undisclosed list of underperforming nursing homes

    CMS on Wednesday announced that it will begin posting a list of nursing facilities that were candidates for SFF due to their poor safety and quality ratings, Modern Healthcare reports.

    CMS in a release did not specify when the agency would publish the list, but CMO Kate Goodrich said in a press call that the agency plans to update the list monthly.

    Goodrich said, "CMS welcomes the recent attention on nursing home quality of care." She added, "Improving safety and quality in America's nursing homes is one of CMS' top priorities." According to Goodrich, the agency is currently assessing the best way to publish the candidate information.


    Casey and Toomey in a statement said they are pleased with CMS' plan to publish the list of SFF candidates. "Our bipartisan work will ensure that families have all the information at their fingertips when choosing a nursing home," Casey said. "Now we must work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the SFF program is working properly and that CMS has the funding it needs to improve underperforming nursing home nationwide" (Diamond, "Pulse," Politico, 6/6; Johnson, Modern Healthcare, 6/5; Stein, Inside Health Policy, 6/5).

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