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U.S. Representatives urge CMS to ensure accurate nursing home staffing data

The Hill reports that Representatives Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) and Doris Matsui (Calif.) asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) why a March 2012 deadline to implement a provision of the Affordable Care Act has still not been met.

Nursing homes currently self-report their staffing data on an annual basis. Schakowsky and Matsui said this policy can lead to inaccurate information for individuals looking for a nursing home.

“Meanwhile,” as The Hill reports, “a section of the 2010 healthcare law directs nursing homes to display staffing information based on payroll data. By using a payroll-based system, Schakowsky and Matsui argued, nursing home staffing information can be reliably accurate.”

“Implementation should have occurred in March of 2012 and is now long overdue,” they wrote in a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

Schakowsky and Matsui questioned why the new policy has not been implemented: “CMS itself has acknowledged that its nursing home staffing data are not accurate,” they wrote. “We need accurate staffing data — such as that from a payroll data collection system — to ensure that our most vulnerable Americans get the quality health care services they need and deserve.”

The lawmakers urged the CMS to address the issue quickly: “We urge CMS to make this matter a priority. We look forward to hearing from you soon on when we can expect the payroll-based staffing system to be operational,” Schakowsky and Matsui wrote.

Click here to see which Minnesota nursing homes were rated by Medicare as “Much Below Average” and “Below Average.”

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.