November 12,2002

Grassley on National Nursing Home Quality Initiative


To: Reporters and Editors
Fr: Jill Gerber, 202/224-6522
Re: nursing home quality initiative
Da: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2002

Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance and a longtime advocate
of improving nursing home care, made the following comment on the national implementation of
the administration’s nursing home quality initiative.

“I support the administration’s focus on nursing home quality. This project can go a long
way toward helping consumers choose a nursing home. It’s also important for maintaining
accountability from nursing homes for the tax money they receive to provide care. Nursing homes
received $58 billion in 2001 from Medicare and Medicaid. That’s just the taxpayers’ share. The
nursing home residents’ own money contributed billions of dollars more. The taxpayers should
know what they’re getting, and this will help.

“At my request, the General Accounting Office reviewed this initiative and identified some
problems with the reliability, validity and accuracy of the data in this project. When I conveyed my
concerns about these problems to administration officials, they immediately agreed to correct the
GAO’s identified shortcomings. They conveyed their commitment to me in writing. I appreciate
their responsiveness, and I look forward to continuing to monitor this project as it goes forward.”