New Nursing Home Inspection Reporting Policy Seeks to Foster Transparency, But Will It Cause More Confusion?
On January 25, 2023, CMS implemented a new policy requiring the nursing home industry to post “disputed facility inspection results on a public government website before the alleged ‘deficiencies’ have been confirmed.” Nursing home representatives are seeking to rescind the preemptive disclosures as they diminish the “nursing home’s right to appeal. As the saying goes, you can’t un-ring the bell.” CMS stated the move is an effort towards complete transparency; however, “[r]ather than … rushing to provide potentially inaccurate information to the public, CMS should commit to integrity by resolving systemic issues in the dispute process that ‘result in these delays.’” Whether this effort at transparency helps people make informed decisions or not remains to be seen. The disputed results do not impact star ratings, and thus making informed decisions based on the availability of publicly available data may prove difficult. While transparency may be well-intentioned, it may end up missing the mark.