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Consumer Voice and other organizations Commend CMS for Abuse Icon

October 21, 2019

As indicated in the Consumer Voice Policy Break, “CMS Will Alert Consumers About Nursing Home Abuse,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that starting October 23 it will use a special icon to identify nursing facilities on Nursing Home Compare that have been cited for abuse and neglect. It will also lower the health inspection star ratings for these facilities.   Consumer Voice has commended CMS for taking this action.  However, both the American Health Care Association and Leading Age - two nursing home trade associations - adamantly oppose the icon. In fact, Leading Age is urging its members to tell CMS to not implement plans related to the icon.

Consumer Voice, along with several other national and state advocacy organizations, sent a letter to CMS Administrator Verma last week indicating strong support for its efforts related to abuse. Read the letter.

We encourage you, too, to thank CMS for these steps to address abuse and neglect before October 23.  You can send a thank you note indicating your support to:  CMS Administrator Seema Verma at seema.verma@cms.hhs.gov.  

The note can be as simple as: 

Dear Administrator Verma:  Thank you for your action to address abuse and neglect by adding an abuse icon to Nursing Home Compare and adjusting the Five-Star rating system to factor in abuse. 

In your note, identify who you are at the beginning, for example: "I am a local long-term care ombudsman.” We also suggest adding a sentence at the end stating why you think identifying facilities with abuse is important or why efforts to reduce abuse are important.


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