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Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare Site to Get Makeover in April

On April 23, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will debut some improvements to its site that allows consumers to compare nursing homes.

The Nursing Home Compare site can be accessed by going to Medicare.gov, then typing “nursing home compare” in the search box. The Nursing Home Compare site provides basic information for comparing health care facilities so that consumers can make more informed choices.

Healthcare Finance News reported the changes that will be unveiled in April will include:

Making the consumer rights section more prominent, offering clear definitions of “resident” and “consumer rights” and providing information on how consumers may take action if they feel their rights have been violated. The consumer rights section will also include information on the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, as well as information on selecting a nursing home.

Freezing quality measure data and the five-star quality measure ratings for six months. Current quality measure data will be kept until October. New quality measure data is expected to be ready in early 2012.

Healthcare Finance News also said that later this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will reveal more bad news regarding troubled nursing homes. On July 21, they will add to the site the number of substantiated complaints received for each nursing home and the number of enforcement actions, including civil money penalties and denials of payment for new admissions.