Nursing Home Compare allows consumers to compare information about nursing homes. It contains quality of care and staffing information for all 15,000 plus Medicare and Medicaid-participating nursing homes. Nursing homes aren’t included in Nursing Home Compare if they are not Medicare or Medicaid-certified. These Nursing Homes can be licensed by the state.
The nursing home fires in Hartford and Nashville revealed weaknesses in federal nursing home compare fire safety standards for unsprinklered facilities. For example, federal standards did not require either home to have smoke detectors in resident rooms where the fires originated, and the fire department investigations suggested that their absence may have delayed the notification of staff and activation of the buildings’ fire alarms. In light of inadequate staff response to the Hartford fire, the degree to which the standards rely on staff to protect and evacuate residents may be unrealistic. Moreover, many unsprinklered homes are not required to meet all federal fire safety standards if they obtain a waiver or are able to demonstrate that compensating features offer an equivalent level of fire safety. However, some of these exemptions raise a concern about whether resident safety was adequately considered. For example, a large number of unsprinklered homes in at least two states have waivers of standards designed to prevent the spread of smoke during a fire. State and federal oversight of nursing home fire safety is inadequate. Postfire investigations by Connecticut and Tennessee revealed deficiencies that existed, but were not cited, during prior surveys. For example, a survey conducted of the Hartford home one month prior to the fire did not uncover the lack of fire drills on the night shift and, on the night the fire occurred, the staff failed to implement the home’s fire plan. The survey was conducted during the daytime and relied on inaccurate documentation that all shifts were conducting fire drills.
The limited number of fire safety assessments, though inconsistent with the statutory requirement for federal oversight surveys, nonetheless demonstrate that state surveyors either miss or fail to cite all fire safety deficiencies. CMS provides limited oversight of state survey activities to address these fire safety survey concerns:
1- lacks basic data to assess the appropriateness of uncorrected deficiencies.
2- Infrequently reviews state trends in citing fire safety deficiencies.
3- Provides insufficient oversight of deficiencies that are waived or that homes do not correct because of asserted compensating fire safety features.
The survey type for this dataset is ‘Fire Safety’ and the processing date is 1st July, 2018.