HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced a two-year pilot project requiring background checks for new workers at long-term-care facilities, and he praised the CMS' ongoing nursing home quality initiative. The pilot project will begin in 2005 and involve seven states, Thompson said. Meanwhile, data from the CMS' 2-year-old quality initiative indicated a decrease in the number of nursing home residents in each state with chronic pain. Use of physical restraints in long-term-care facilities also declined in the vast majority of states, HHS said. But on a national basis, the percentage of patients with bed sores -- another key measure of quality -- rose to 8.7% during the project from 8.5%. As part of the initiative, the CMS posts quality scores for nursing homes on its Nursing Home Compare Web site. -- by Joseph Mantone
HHS to test background checks for nursing home workers
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