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

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched efforts to improve patient safety and quality of care in nursing homes. The Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program offers tools, resources and ongoing assistance to nursing home staff.   

The program is a three-year initiative designed to improve residents’ quality of life by equipping nursing home staff, administrators and stakeholders with technical tools and assistance to enhance resident care.

As part of the program, 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.

The Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program 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. 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 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 more information, see Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program.

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