April 22,2002

Waxman, Grassley Applaud Decision to Post Complaint Data on Web

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Henry A. Waxman, ranking member of the Government ReformCommittee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, todaycongratulated the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its decision to post nursinghome complaint data on its web site. CMS Administrator Tom Scully sent a letter to Waxman andGrassley stating that the data would be posted on the agency’s web site in May.

“I am very pleased by HHS’s announcement that they will post nursing home complaintviolations on the Nursing Home Compare web site,” said Waxman. “Families need to have accessto the full compliance history of nursing homes so they can make good decisions for loved ones. Theposting of this data is a significant step forward.”

Grassley said, “I appreciate the agency’s interest in improving consumer information aboutnursing homes. As our nation ages, more and more families will need nursing homes for theirrelatives. Families will welcome this new tool to help them pick a good nursing home.”

In February 2002, Waxman and Grassley released a report that found that the HHS web sitedid not include information on violations found during complaint inspections of nursing homes. Thereport found that, as a result of this problem, information on thousands of serious violations was notavailable on the Nursing Home Compare web site, potentially misleading families about nursing homeconditions. When the report was released, Waxman and Grassley wrote to Scully to urge that theinformation be added to the site.

Note: Interested reporters can obtain the report and correspondence between Waxman andGrassley and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the Committee on GovernmentReform Democratic web site at www.house.gov/reform/min.