Important Updates and Action Alert – CMS News

Important Updates and Action Alert – CMS News

CMS released 2 memos last week: the first detailed the consumer alert icon as we shared with you and which LeadingAge is actively addressing. Join us—click here to send a message to CMS Administrator Seema Verma to tell her to Stop the Consumer Alert Icon.

The second memo is all about quality measures on Nursing Home Compare. First, CMS announced the removal of 2 quality measures from Nursing Home Compare—the short-stay and long-stay measures of residents who report moderate to severe pain. The removal of these measures is related to the nation-wide opioid epidemic and CMS’s concern that a quality measure on pain may “inappropriately contribute” to a facility’s decision to seek opioid pain management interventions.

Next, remember back in March when CMS announced the changes to Nursing Home Compare that included a plan to recalibrate the quality thresholds every 6 months? The plan was to increase thresholds at 50% of the rate of improvement from the previous 6 months. So for example, if the rate of improvement was 2%, the quality measure threshold will be increased by 1%. CMS has announced that this recalibration will begin in April 2020. CMS states that by increasing thresholds every 6 months, they will 1) encourage continuous improvement and 2) avoid implementing significant, unscheduled threshold changes in the future.

Click here for the Quality, Safety & Oversight Group memo announcing the April 2020 implementation. The original QSO memo from March is available here. The 5-Star Rating System Technical User Guide is available here.

Lastly, Nursing Home Compare updates will take place on a slightly adjusted schedule over the next few months due to the holidays. Updates will occur as follows:

  • October 23
  • December 4
  • January 29

In February, updates will resume the regular schedule of the last Wednesday of every month.