McKnight’s reported the inaccuracy of the ratings on CMS’ Care Compare website. The OIG discovered that Medicare’s Care Compare site did not accurately reflect nursing home deficiencies in two-thirds of listings reviewed. This means more than 10,000 health, life safety or emergency preparedness violations may have been left out of view of consumers. Scope and severity levels were also inaccurate for one out of every three nursing homes reviewed.
Deficiencies are widespread in the industry. OIG found the agency relied on nursing homes to self-report inaccuracies. Not likely accurate.
The OIG audit was based on a sample of 100 nursing homes and their Care Compare listings. The audit comes nearly 20 years after a similar investigation. This version appears to show that CMS lapses have increased.
In June 2004, OIG found that Nursing Home Compare was missing one or more deficiencies in 11% of nursing homes. It was missing inspection results for one or more of the three most recent inspections in 19% of nursing homes.
Regarding health deficiencies, CMS said one reason for data discrepancies was a system issue that caused inspection results to overwrite previously entered inspections that were performed on the same day but entered into the system on different days. CMS stated that it corrected the issue with a coding update. CMS also said “it found a few instances of human error” during its review of the findings but “does not believe these occasional instances heavily impact the Five-Star Quality Rating System.”