In order to get higher rankings on Medicare.gov's Nursing Home Compare tool, more than 80 percent of nursing homes are consistently inflating their staffing numbers, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Doing so can put residents at risk for getting less-than-desirable care and could even result in death, says PR Newswire.
This fact has led Florida attorney Samuel W. Bearman to call for independent verification and oversight of the reporting of these figures on Nursing Home Compare.
"Inaccurate self-reporting appears to be a systemic problem with Nursing Home Compare," Bearman, who regularly handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases, told PR Newswire. "It's clear from the Center for Public Integrity's series of reports on Nursing Home Compare that nursing homes are not being held accountable for the information they provide to Nursing Home Compare. Families need to know that there has been no independent verification of the data nursing homes are reporting to the site."
Bearman was especially concerned that, in several cases, nursing homes reported they had twice the staffing hours they actually had, which gives families looking for a home for their loved one inaccurate information. Bearman suggests the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid set up a review group that monitors the numbers.
"The Nursing Home Compare problem unearthed by the Center for Public Integrity is nationwide, though there appears to be a higher incidence of inaccurate reporting in the Southeast," Bearman told PR Newswire. "Some of our most vulnerable citizens are at risk as a result of the artificially inflated numbers some nursing homes have self-reported to Nursing Home Compare, and that should outrage every American."