Self-Reporting is Unreliable

A new study from University of Chicago researchers shows that self-reported data from nursing homes are inaccurate, unreliable, and, often, false. For example, nursing home operators underreport the number of pressure injuries in residents by as much as 40%. Researchers found that nursing homes self-reported only 59.7% of hospitalized pressure injuries between stages 2 and 4 among long-stay residents.

The underreporting makes the data unreliable. Consumer advocates and experts criticize self-reported data. CMS needs to toughen the standards and penalties. Pressure injuries are painful and contribute to wrongful deaths.

University of Chicago researchers previously studied nursing homes’ underreporting of falls to CMS. They will next examine the inaccuracy of self-reported data on urinary tract infections and pneumonia cases.

“This research is really important in showing that nursing homes often underreport important health changes among their residents. For this reason, we often down-weight or even exclude self-reported measures in value-based payment models and public quality reporting. In nursing homes, there is a major distrust of the quality measures reported in the Minimum Data Set assessment for exactly this reason.”

–Harvard Medical School health policy expert David Graboswki, PhD, told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.