Today, we are updating our Nursing Home Inspect tool to include another 9,570 government inspection reports on nursing homes nationwide, bringing the total to 144,172.
We launched the news app in August to allow users to easily analyze the government’s narrative write-ups of problems in nursing homes, which were recently published online by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Unlike the government website, Nursing Home Inspect allows users to search the universe of reports by keyword.
Some of the newly added reports cover nursing home inspections done months ago, but the reports are just now trickling in. Government inspectors rate problems on a scale of A to L, with L being the most severe.
The reports do not contain residents’ names and are redacted to remove specific diagnoses and medications. In this month’s update, CMS eased up a bit on its redaction policy so references to pressure sores, also known as pressure ulcers, will not automatically be removed.
Reporters around the country continue to use Nursing Home Inspect to write stories about local homes. WNBC in New York, for example, focused on a 55-year old Long Island man with dementia who wandered away from a nursing home last year and whose body was found three days later. The government cited the home for serious deficiencies.
We plan to update this tool each month as the government adds additional reports. We are also adding a link to our tool with information about how consumers can file a complaint with state health regulators if they have a complaint about a home.
And be sure to check out ProPublica's new Patient Safety series page, for regular updates and discussion about patient safety and the quality of healthcare in the U.S.