CMS publishes available information online on CMS’s Care Compare site through Medicare.gov. The purpose is to help consumers determine safety and increase pressure on facilities with low vaccination rates. The new features allow users to search for nursing homes by location. Users can select multiple nursing homes to display and compare the data amongst providers.
Nationwide, the median nursing home staff vaccination rate is less than 65% while 85% of residents are vaccinated. Higher vaccination rates are more desirable, especially for frail older adults. Nursing home residents have no choice but to be in close proximity to unvaccinated staff. It is unfair and unsafe. It is an unnecessary risk to the resident’s health and safety.
“We believe more needs to be done to make these transparency measures useful to patients and their loved ones, particularly given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the United States, and the wide variation in vaccination rates among nursing home residents and workers throughout our nation,” Sens. Bob Casey (PA) and Ron Wyden (OR) wrote in a letter Sept. 10 to CMS Administration Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
Nursing homes are eager to give booster shots to residents and workers. Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot was unanimously approved. The recommendation supports giving booster shots to seniors 65 and older, healthcare workers and people with immuno-compromised systems.