New online tool provides nursing home vaccination, safety data

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTAJ) — Medicare released a new online tool Wednesday to compare COVID-19 vaccination rates among nursing homes.

The “Care Compare” feature on Medicare.gov aims to address complaints from consumer groups and lawmakers that critical data regarding quality and safety issues of nursing homes have been too difficult to find.

U.S. Senate Aging Committee Chair Bob Casey (D-PA) was among lawmakers who called for improving access to COVID-19 vaccine data in nursing homes by making it available to nursing home residents, workers and families.

“Patients, families and workers deserve transparent and timely data on vaccination rates in nursing homes,” said Senator Casey. “I applaud the Biden Administration for putting COVID-19 vaccine data at the fingertips of nursing home residents and their families, which will help them make better-informed decisions about their care, and allow nursing home workers to better gauge the safety of their work. COVID-19 devastated nursing homes, and my hope is that this important transparency measure will help make this important part of the health care system a safer place to receive care and work.”

Nursing home residents have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for more than 150,000 deaths in the U.S. Nationally, about 84% of residents are now vaccinated, which has slowed the spread of the delta variant among frail patients.

Medicare officials say they are encouraged that even as the delta variant has spread across the country, outbreaks in nursing homes are not out of control as happened last year. They attribute that to the high rate of residents who have gotten their shots.

Those looking to find and compare data in our area can visit medicare.gov.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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