CMS on Monday opened public comment on a new measure that could be added to its Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program this year. The program publicly reports quality measures on Nursing Home Compare.
The new measure evaluates healthcare-associated infections that require hospitalization among residents in skilled-nursing facilities. The public comment period runs through Oct. 14.
The measure is being developed because healthcare-associated infections are tied to longer stays, higher-intensity care, increased mortality and increased costs, according to the draft document.
"Preventing and reducing HAIs is crucial to delivering safe and high-quality care across the healthcare system," the draft reads.
As proposed, the new measure would use the principal diagnosis on Medicare hospital claims for skilled-nursing facility residents from the fourth day after skilled-nursing facility admission and within three days after facility discharge, according to the draft document.
The measure will be risk-adjusted to level the playing field among facilities and will exclude emergency department visits, observation stays and some infections, such as those tied to chronic disease, according to the draft.
The measure was created with Acumen, a California-based policy research company, and input was provided by a technical expert panel.
It will be part of the Measures Under Consideration list later this year and will be presented at the Measure Applications Partnership Post-Acute Care/Long-Term Care Workgroup meeting in December, CMS said. CMS will provide skilled-nursing facilities this summer with confidential dry run reports on their performance under the draft measure.