Faegre Drinker examined federal data surrounding skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and issued a report analyzing the federal systems that hold SNF data and why these systems do not provide complete information on SNFs or their ownership. With nearly 140,000 deaths at SNFs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to understand data surrounding the industry is plain. While numerous studies have examined SNFs and cited SNF data, few have focused on the systems that house this data and the weaknesses of these systems as presently administered.
After interviewing subject matter experts, Faegre Drinker examined each available federal data system, ultimately identifying four problem areas and presenting four recommendations to help improve SNF data transparency:
- Congress or the Biden administration should put a federal agency in charge of examining the existing data related to SNF ownership and publish a publicly available file of that data, moving to improve the quality of the datasets going forward.
- The federal agency tasked with oversight should provide guidance to each system that collects data so that names are reported in a uniform manner.
- Each system collecting data should perform data integrity checks to help alleviate the current data integrity issues seen with self-reported and unaudited datasets.
- Congress or the Biden administration should charge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or another agency with establishing a data transparency strategic plan, with a goal of integrating data across federal systems.
Development of this report was supported by Arnold Ventures.