Nursing Home Compare’s Fall Data May Be “Highly Inaccurate”

A study published on December 29, 2019 entitled, “Assessment of nursing home reporting of major injury falls for quality measurement on nursing home compare,” concluded: “The nursing home‐reported data used for the NHC [Nursing Home Compare] falls measure may be highly inaccurate.”

What Is Nursing Home Compare?

Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare “allows you to find and compare nursing homes certified by Medicare and Medicaid. This website contains quality of resident care and staffing information for more than 15,000 nursing homes around the country. Nursing homes provide skilled care to people who can’t be cared for at home and need 24-hour nursing care. Skilled care includes skilled nursing or rehabilitation services to manage, observe, or assess a resident’s care. Examples of skilled care include occupational therapy, wound care, intravenous (IV) therapies, and physical therapy … Information on Nursing Home Compare is not an endorsement or advertisement for any nursing home and should be considered carefully. Use the information you find on this website along with other information you gather about nursing homes.”

“The information on Nursing Home Compare can help you learn:

– How nursing homes have performed on health and fire safety inspections
– How the nursing home is staffed with nurses and other healthcare providers
– How well nursing homes care for their residents
– Nursing homes that have had issues related to preventing abuse
– Nursing Homes that have had significant issues maintaining compliance to protect resident health and safety, and are part of the Special Focus Facility Program.”


The study analyzed January 1, 2011 to September 30, 2015 hospital admission claims of a 100 percent sample of Medicare beneficiaries from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) file provided by CMS, and linked inpatient claims for major injury falls with MDS assessments. The study’s authors reported: “We identified 150,828 major injury falls in the hospital claims that occurred during nursing home residency, which we expect to have been reported under J1900C, the MDS item used by NHC. Only 57.5 percent of these were reported. Reporting on this item was more complete for long‐stay (62.9 percent) than for short‐stay residents (47.2 percent), and for white (59.0 percent) than for nonwhite residents (46.4 percent). Long‐stay white residents had the highest reporting rate (64.5 percent) and short‐stay nonwhite residents had the lowest reporting rate (37.4 percent). Including additional assessments beyond the discharge assessment did not improve reporting rates … The correlation between fall rates based on claims vs the MDS was 0.22.”

The study concluded: “The poor correlation between our claims‐based fall rates and the MDS‐based NHC‐reported fall rates indicates the MDS not only underreports but also may not be informative for comparing nursing homes. Correlations were also poor between the claims‐based measure and the quality‐domain and overall five‐star ratings, though this is less surprising given the five‐star algorithm’s complexity and use of other information.”


If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in the United States due to a nursing home fall, nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home under-staffing, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys (nursing home claim attorneys) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 at 5:25 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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