Trends in Deficiencies at Nursing Homes Show That Improvements Are Needed To Ensure the Health and Safety of Residents
In this data brief, we analyze nursing home deficiencies that were identified by State survey agencies (State agencies) across the Nation for calendar years 2013 through 2017 (review period). This data brief offers the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other stakeholders (e.g., State agencies and nursing home management) insight into deficiency trends at nursing homes nation-wide. It also complements our previous report on State agencies' verification of correction of nursing home deficiencies.
Our objective was to analyze trends in the deficiencies that State agencies identified in nursing home surveys across the Nation. Our data analysis showed the following:
- The number of nursing home surveys and deficiencies slightly increased each year from 2013 through 2016, then slightly decreased in 2017.
- Ninety-four percent of deficiencies had "less serious" ratings, and 6 percent of deficiencies had "more serious" ratings.
- About 31 percent of nursing homes had a deficiency type that was cited at least five times during our review period.
- Ten States accounted for half of the deficiencies identified.
- The top 10 of 340 deficiency types accounted for more than 40 percent of deficiencies.
The results of our analysis do not clearly indicate whether the quality of care and the safety of nursing home residents improved during our review period.
We made several recommendations to CMS in our previous report to help ensure the health and safety of nursing home residents. Implementing those recommendations and considering the information in this data brief may help CMS and other stakeholders to identify areas for improvement in the nursing home survey and certification process, ensure that deficiencies recur less frequently at nursing homes, and improve the quality of care and the safety of residents at nursing homes across the Nation.
Filed under: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services