The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just announced that it’s going to begin including citations that are in Informal Dispute Resolution (IDR) or Independent Informal Dispute Resolution (IIDR) on its “Care Compare” website for consumers beginning this month.
According to CMS, “Allowing consumers to see all of the citations a facility receives regardless of whether they are under IDR/IIDR is consistent with our commitment to transparency and also enhances accountability and oversight of nursing homes.” The agency notes that not including the listing of these disputes – particularly those that go months without a resolution – on the website keeps consumers from having important information.
Facilities argue that the practice will be confusing and unfair
Long-term-care facilities, however, argue that including these citations that haven’t yet been resolved is only going to confuse consumers and drive away people looking for a facility for loved ones – potentially for no good reason. An executive with one company that tracks appeals of CMS citations notes, “Many do get overturned or downgraded.”
Of course, that doesn’t help if those who saw the citation when it was on the site moved on. Some disputes can take longer than others to resolve, but those IDR/IIDRs could potentially be on the site for weeks or months and then removed. According to CMS, only 25% are resolved in the facilities’ favor. That is still a significant number.
At least for the time being, CMS says that IDRs and IIDRs won’t affect the five-star rating system that they use until the dispute process is resolved. This change, however, makes appealing and resolving an unfounded deficiency even more important than ever. Having experienced legal guidance is crucial to this process.