Skilled Nursing Facility

AHCA raises concerns with CMS’ proposed abuse warning icon

Just a week after the CMS proposal to add a warning icon to the Nursing Home Compare pages of SNFs with a history of abuse, The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has called for a less severe logo.

In an open letter to CMS administrator Seema Verma, AHCA president and CEO Mark Parkinson recommended a yellow icon that would suggest proceeding with caution, rather than the proposed red icon with a hand indicating “do not proceed.” “The icon selected creates a strong visual recommendation ‘to stop and avoid’ going to this nursing home. A red ‘stop sign,’ with a hand on it, is inconsistent with the message outlined in the press release that the information on the site should help ‘consumers develop a more complete understanding of a facility’s quality,’” said Parkinson in the letter.

AHCA’s statement questioned the level of abuse warranting the warning icon, citing an instance when two wheelchair-bound residents bumped into one another, a brief argument ensued, and one resident hit the other’s thigh. Neither were injured, but the event led to the facility receiving a D-level deficiency. AHCA fears that some facilities will have an unwarranted icon, “scaring consumers away from a facility that can meet their needs safely and others who should have an icon will not. This inconsistency of citations does not advance transparency or consumer choice.”

The proposed icon: