Transparency is one of the most important aspects of running any business But when it comes to nursing homes, transparency is vital to building trust, ensuring quality care, and keeping owners and organizations accountable. Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report investigating the ways Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides ownership information to the public and the improvements they would like to see made as soon as possible.
It is no secret that the type of ownership influences the quality of care provided to residents. Primarily, it has been found that private ownership leads to poorer care.
“For instance, non-profit homes generally perform better on measures of quality than for-profit nursing homes.”
There are some changes to policy and care standards that could easily change this fact. But it is important for the public and potential residents to know who owns the facility so they can make an educated decision when it comes to their own care and that of their loved ones.
The GAO report focuses on the CMS Care Compare system and its failure to do the following:
- Providing information in plain language
- Organize the information provided to show patterns
- Explain the purpose or value of certain information provided
- Make the strengths and limitation of the data clear
In light of these failures, the GAO has made two key suggestions:
- Use plain language to define key terms in the ownership section of Care Compare.
- Organize ownership information by providing consumers easy access to a list of all facilities under common ownership, their respective star ratings, and a distribution of star ratings across nursing homes with common ownership to allow consumers to examine quality patterns across such facilities.
CMS has acknowledged that their failures have led to misleading individuals. Additionally, they have noted that the information on their Care Compare system is often directed more towards researchers as opposed to consumers and that this approach needs to change.
Ownership transparency is vital to helping individuals make informed decisions about their health and future aging care. Without clear and accurate information that decision is almost impossible. And since the Care Compare system is one of the most visited sites for finding a nursing home, it is incredibly important that their system is improved to provide honest information.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect call Gharibian Law (877-875-1119) for a free consultation and the best legal representation.