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CMS Launches Efforts to Improve Patient Safety, Quality of Care in Nursing Homes

CMS Launches Efforts to Improve Patient Safety, Quality of Care in Nursing Homes
Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program offers tools, ongoing assistance to nursing home staff

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced upcoming efforts to support better care and outcomes for nursing home residents under the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP). This three-year initiative aims to improve residents’ quality of life by equipping nursing home staff, administrators and stakeholders with technical tools and assistance to enhance resident care.

“CMS is committed to ensuring nursing home residents are safe and receive quality care,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We are pleased to offer nursing home staff practical tools and assistance to improve resident care and positively impact the lives of individuals in our nation’s nursing homes.”

As part of the CMPRP, CMS will develop a variety of work products for nursing home professionals, such as staff competency assessment tools, instructional guides, training webinars and technical assistance seminars. These supports aim to help staff reduce adverse events, improve dementia care and strengthen staffing quality, including by reducing staff turnover and enhancing performance.

This initiative is one of several CMS has underway to strengthen safety and health outcomes for nursing home residents. For example, the Nursing Home Compare website and facility Star Ratings are key resources CMS provides to help consumers and their caregivers make informed healthcare decisions. These resources are updated and expanded frequently, recently with the addition of payroll-based data on nursing home staffing, which can serve as one indicator of the quality of care. In addition to the CMPRP, CMS also operates the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, which improves the lives of nursing home residents by helping reduce the rate of inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic drugs in this population.

The CMPRP is funded by federal civil money penalties, which are fines nursing homes must pay CMS by law when they are noncompliant with certain regulations and there are serious concerns about the safety and quality of care they provide. Most penalties collected are returned to states to fund state-based projects that benefit nursing home residents, and CMS retains a portion of the funds for similar federal initiatives. Under this new program, CMS will collaborate with industry experts to develop an ongoing series of toolkits and technical assistance intended to help nursing home staff and management improve care delivery and thereby residents’ quality of life.

Today, CMS released its first toolkit in the CMPRP series, the Nursing Home Staff Competency Assessment and its supporting materials. The competency assessment is designed to help nursing home frontline and management staff evaluate their skills. It includes several questions to gauge staff knowledge about behavioral, technical and resident-based capabilities. Additional toolkits will follow under the series heading “Building on a Culture of Quality: Your Guide to Resident-Centered Care.”

For additional information on the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program, please visit


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