Advocates push for more public ownership data; CMS says no

Advocacy groups have criticized CMS new nursing home ownership rule, which would make ownership and management information public, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported Nov. 16.

The rule, released Nov. 15, includes definitions of private equity and real estate investment trusts, and it requires nursing homes enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid to disclose additional information about their owners, operators and management, as well as entities that exercise financial control over the facility. The rule also requires information about entities that lease or sublease property to nursing homes to disclose ownership. 

However, advocates said the data, which is to be turned over as part of the Medicaid revalidation process that nursing homes do every five years, means some data will not be required for submission until 2028. Advocates have asked CMS to require that ownership data be reported annually. 

CMS said it "appreciated the suggestion" but it is concerned about the burden on nursing homes if annual reporting was required.

Other advocates requested CMS publicly disclose any supporting documentation related to leadership to support the accuracy of the information, but CMS rejected the idea. The agency also rejected calls for fines for failure to comply with the new rules.

Although advocates said the rules are a step in the right direction, some worry the rules will not improve quality.

"More paperwork reporting will not drive quality," the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living said in a statement shared with McKnight's Long-Term Care News. "This has become a distraction from the real issues that impact the majority of providers, like Medicaid underfunding and workforce shortages."

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