The OIG performed an audit review focusing on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS’s) use of data on nursing home staffing from April 2018 through March 2019; before the COVID-19 pandemic. They also noted recent CMS actions through December 2020.
Since November 2016, CMS has required nursing homes to submit payroll-based staffing data, including data on nurses and non-nurses. In April 2018, CMS began updating staffing measures on Nursing Home Compare, a public website, with these staffing data. In December 2020, CMS replaced Nursing Home Compare with a new website called Care Compare. Care Compare includes the same staffing information that had been found on Nursing Home Compare. Specifically, consumers can search nursing homes on the basis of location and compare quality of care and staffing. The usefulness of this information to consumers depends on the extent to which it is complete and accurate. Further, CMS also works with state survey agencies to monitor nursing home compliance with Federal requirements, including staffing. Remember, surveyors can and often do cite centers under the staffing F tag, not necessarily because we haven’t met the staffing requirement numbers but rather because there was a negative outcome related to acuity. Take the time to review not only your staffing “capability” but their “capacity” as well. Stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!