In another effort to improve nursing home transparency, safety and quality, and accountability, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is making additional data publicly available that provide more information about the ownership of all Medicare-certified nursing homes. This data will, for the first time, give state licensing officials, state and federal law enforcement, researchers, and the public an enhanced ability to identify common owners of nursing homes across nursing home locations. This information can be linked to other data sources to identify the performance of facilities under common ownership, such as owners affiliated with multiple nursing homes with a record of poor performance.
The release of this new data advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of improving transparency of nursing home ownership outlined in President Biden’s State of the Union Action Plan for Protecting Seniors by Improving Safety and Quality of Care in the Nation’s Nursing Homes. It is also part of HHS and CMS’s efforts to implement the President’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition. Secretary Becerra serves as a member of President Biden’s White House Competition Council, created by President Biden’s Order on Competition. Secretary Becerra will highlight this new initiative at a Competition Council meeting with President Biden at the White House on Monday.
“President Biden has made clear that we must improve the quality of care in our nation’s nursing homes – and we are taking unprecedented steps to deliver on his call to action,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Every family deserves the peace of mind of knowing their loved ones living in nursing homes are receiving the best possible care. We are continuing to make more data publicly available than ever before to improve transparency for researchers, regulators, and loved ones.”
“We’re taking another major step forward in improving transparency in health care,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Researchers, states, regulators and others will be able to use this new data source to learn more about the impacts that nursing home ownership structures have on the care provided to residents.”
Today’s announcement builds on the historic release of nursing homes and hospitals data by CMS earlier this year following President Biden’s State of the Union call to action. In April, CMS released data publicly – for the first time ever – on mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, and changes of ownership from 2016-2022 for hospitals and nursing homes enrolled in Medicare.
The information posted today now includes detailed information on the ownership of approximately 15,000 nursing homes certified as a Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) – regardless of any change in ownership, including providing more information about organizational owners of nursing homes. For example, the expanded data elements include information about each organizational owner, such as whether it’s a holding company or a consulting firm. CMS has also provided key identifiers that reflect groups of nursing homes with common ownership or managerial control.
The data file on nursing home ownership will be posted to data.cms.gov and updated monthly to help researchers, states, regulators and others analyze how ownership of particular nursing homes or groups of nursing homes impacts the quality of care nursing home residents receive.
While intended primarily for researchers and state and federal agencies, the new nursing home ownership data will also be accessible to consumers through a link in the ownership section of Care Compare on the Medicare.gov website with the next update of the website on September 28th. CMS will work with consumers to obtain feedback on how best to present provider ownership information in a user-friendly way to support their health care decisions.
For more information on the HHS data release, including publicly available data files, please visit: Skilled Nursing Facility and Ownership Data here: https://data.cms.gov/provider-characteristics/hospitals-and-other-facilities/skilled-nursing-facility-enrollments
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