Unreliable Data Source

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) demanded a review of Care Compare’s nursing home section and the data and information it provides, including the Five-Star Rating System. He is a frequent critic of the industry. He has been vocal since 2022 HHS Office of Inspector General’s report on psychotropic drug use in nursing homes.

The Government Accountability Office recently reviewed CMS assessment of the three main sources of nursing home information that feed Care Compare: staffing data, inspections and quality measures. The information needs updating. Much of the information is too old to be relevant to consumers. The data is often not reliable because of self-reporting, manipulation, incompleteness, or lack of consistent enforcement.

“Today’s GAO report makes it clear that timely information about a nursing home’s performance, along with patient experience, costs, services provided and much more, needs improvement,” Grassley concluded after seeing the report.

GAO recommended a restructuring of the Care Compare website to make it easier for consumers to compare and understand inspection ratings.

A proposed quality measure change would add a patient survey for nursing homes, something that CMS pointed to in interviews with the OIG.