GAO to Review Nursing Home Rating System

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has agreed to conduct a review of the federal government’s nursing home rating system -the subject of a Center for Public Integrity investigation last fall. The action by the watchdog arm of Congress comes in response to a request from Senators Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and Representative Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland. Earlier this month, the two Senators wrote to GAO calling for a review of the rating system and Representative Cummings joined their request, following his own letter last year to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Those actions come in the wake of an announcement in February that CMS was making changes to its nursing home rating system. Last year, investigations by the Center and the New York Times found widespread gaps between staffing levels reported by nursing homes to a widely used federal website and those calculated through an analysis of the homes’ annual financial documents. The gaps occurred across both for-profit and nonprofit nursing homes, with more than 80 percent of nursing homes reporting higher levels of registered nurse care to the Nursing Homes Compare website than were reflected in their reports to Medicare.

Source/more: Center for Public Integrity

David Wingate is an Elder Law Attorney with the Elder Law Office of David Wingate. The Elder Law Office works in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland. The elder law practice consists of Powers of Attorneys, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and Asset Protection.

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