April 24,2002

Grassley Comment on the New Nursing Home Quality Project

Today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released quality data about individualnursing homes in a six-state pilot project. The six states are Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Ohio,Rhode Island and Washington. The pilot project is designed to give older Americans and their familiescomparative quality data about nursing homes. Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of theCommittee on Finance, has worked for years to improve nursing home quality and to make nursinghome quality information accessible to consumers. He made the following comment on today’sdevelopment.

“I support the idea of giving people more information to help them choose a nursing home.It’s easier to get information about buying a car than choosing a nursing home. Unfortunately, it’soften easier to change cars than change nursing homes if you get a bad one. The Centers forMedicare and Medicaid Services is on the right track. This project has a lot of potential to helpnursing home consumers. However, it has to be done right. As I’ve said before, incomplete ormisleading information can be worse than no information. It’ll be important to watch the progressand results of the six-state demonstration project before the project goes nationwide. I’ve asked theGeneral Accounting Office to monitor the demonstration project and give an independent review ofwhat works and what doesn’t.”