OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 156

AN ACT CONCERNING A NURSING HOME REPORT CARD.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to develop a nursing home report card that allows individuals to compare the quality of nursing home facilities in the state. DPH must provide access to the report card through the Internet and by maintaining a toll-free telephone number.

Under the bill, the report card must allow an individual to view information on all the quality measures about a specific facility. They must be able to search for information on any nursing home facility in the state by name or zip code. The report card must also enable individuals to rank facilities in a specific area of the state on three quality measures of their choosing.

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 1, 2009

REPORT CARD COMPONENTS

The bill requires the report card to score each nursing home on a scale from a minimum of one to a maximum of five on the following quality measures:

1. resident quality-of-life ratings based on interviews of nursing home residents,

2. quality indicators based on federal Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessments required under federal law for residents of Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing homes,

3. hours of direct care,

4. staff retention,

5. use of temporary staffing agencies,

6. proportion of single rooms, and

7. state inspection results.

DEFINITIONS

The bill applies to “nursing home facilities” defined as (1) any nursing home, residential care home, or rest home that, in addition to personal care required in a residential care home, provides nursing supervision under a medical director 24 hours per day or (2) any chronic and convalescent nursing home that provides skilled nursing care under medical supervision and direction to carry out nonsurgical treatment and dietary procedures for chronic diseases, convalescent stages, acute diseases, or injuries (CGS 19a-521).

Although residential care homes are included in the definition of nursing home facilities, they do not provide nursing care. Thus, it appears that the bill does not apply to these facilities.

BACKGROUND

CMS Report Card

In 2002, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began publishing “Nursing Home Compare,” a national, online nursing home report card. It provides information on every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in each state including inspection results, hours of direct care, and 19 quality measures for short- and long-term residents.

Nursing Home Information Available Through DPH

Current law requires DPH to publish an annual report available to the public that provides basic information on nursing homes in the state. DPH provides an online directory of licensed nursing home facilities that includes contact and ownership information, the number of beds, the cost for private, pay patients, whether the home accepts Medicare or Medicaid patients and any citations issued in the prior year. DPH also posts quarterly regulatory action reports on its website that list fines and other disciplinary actions taken against health care facilities, including nursing homes (CGS 19a-538).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Select Committee on Aging

Joint Favorable Change of Reference

Yea

11

Nay

0

(03/04/2008)

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable Change of Reference

Yea

28

Nay

0

(03/14/2008)

Appropriations Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

54

Nay

0

(03/28/2008)