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.”
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