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Publication of Quality Report Cards and Trends in Reported Quality Measures in Nursing Homes

Objective. To examine associations between nursing homes' quality and publication of the Nursing Home Compare quality report card.

Data Sources/Study Settings. Primary and secondary data for 2001–2003: 701 survey responses of a random sample of nursing homes; the Minimum Data Set (MDS) with information about all residents in these facilities, and the Nursing Home Compare published quality measure (QM) scores.

Study Design. Survey responses provided information on 20 specific actions taken by nursing homes in response to publication of the report card. MDS data were used to calculate five QMs for each quarter, covering a period before and following publication of the report. Statistical regression techniques were used to determine if trends in these QMs have changed following publication of the report card in relation to actions undertaken by nursing homes.

Principal Findings. Two of the five QMs show improvement following publication. Several specific actions were associated with these improvements.

Conclusions. Publication of the Nursing Home Compare report card was associated with improvement in some but not all reported dimensions of quality. This suggests that report cards may motivate providers to improve quality, but it also raises questions as to why it was not effective across the board.

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