The federal government has upgraded its Web site and the measures it uses allowing consumers to compare the quality of care delivered at the 17,000 nursing homes around the nation that care for Medicare or Medicaid patients.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that improvements to Nursing Home Compare, found at www.medicare.gov, make it easier for consumers to compare quality, deficiency and staffing information about Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes. In addition to making the site easier to navigate, CMS has added nine indicators of a nursing home's quality, and deleted five others. There are now fourteen measures in all.
The new quality indicators are:
- Percent of short stay residents with pressure sores
- Percent of high-risk residents who have pressure sores
- Percent of low-risk residents who have pressure sores
- Percent of residents with a urinary tract infection
- Percent of residents who spent most of their time in bed or in a chair
- Percent of residents who have become more depressed or anxious
- Percent of low-risk residents who lose control of their bowels or bladder
- Percent of residents who have/had a catheter inserted and left in their bladder
- Percent of residents whose ability to move about in and around their room got worse
The deleted quality indicators are:
- Percent of short stay residents with delirium with an additional level of risk adjustment
- Percent of short stay residents who walk as well or better on day 14 as on day 5 of their stay
- Percent of residents with pressure sores
- Percent of residents with pressure sores with an additional level of risk adjustment
- Percent of residents with infections
The changes are the latest from CMS' National Nursing Home Quality Initiative, which has been stepping up public reporting on standards of nursing home care. CMS credits the initiative, launched in 2002, with significant improvements in nursing home care around the nation, such as 15 percent fewer residents being physically restrained and 30 percent fewer experiencing chronic pain.
Nursing Home Compare was the most popular tool on www.medicare.gov in 2003, receiving 9.3 million page views.
To compare nursing homes in your state, county, city or zip code, go to www.medicare.gov