OIG signals new focus on nursing homes

Feb 17, 2023 | Minimum Staffing

OIG signals new focus on nursing homes

The federal Office of Inspector General recently published  its “OIG’s Top Unimplemented Recommendations: Solutions To Reduce Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in HHS Programs.”

In the Top Recommendations, OIG stated that it is aggressively focusing on staffing as a way to improve infection control, suggesting OIG’s belief or assumption that staffing shortages are causing infection control problems:

“Regarding nursing home staffing data, in January 2022 CMS began posting weekend staffing and staff turnover measures on the Care Compare website. CMS also shares Payroll Based Journal staffing data, including lists of facilities that potentially have insufficient weekend staffing, with state survey agencies.”

OIG goes on to highlight its heightened focus on nursing homes in this regard:

“This progress is part of larger nursing home reforms that the administration and CMS are pursuing. OIG continues to invest substantially in oversight of nursing home quality and safety and will continue to monitor CMS’s progress on related reforms.”

So clearly, OIG and CMS are working together to “reform” nursing home care, and OIG is fixing its gaze on nursing homes. But their idea of reforming nursing homes is not to physically or monetarily help facilities per se with staffing shortages or by providing money for more staff.

Their idea of reform is further enforcement, more aggressive enforcement, and a focus on monitoring and enforcing against facilities with staffing shortages. Ignoring the exorbitant CMS fines and penalties in the survey process currently, and the difficulties that facilities are having with recruiting and maintaining adequate staff, the OIG recommends that increased oversight and enforcement will force facilities to improve staffing as a means to affect change (… that “reform” they are focused on) in nursing homes for years to come.




February 17, 2023


Bilimoria, Neville. “OIG Signals New Focus on Nursing Homes.” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, 17 Feb. 2023, www.mcknights.com/blogs/guest-columns/oig-signals-new-focus-on-nursing-homes.