Online Tool for Nursing Home Vaccination Rates
By Eric Sierant, Senior, Advisory Services
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that vaccination data for all nursing homes would be available to the public via an easy-to-navigate online tool on its website. Per the data from September 26, 2021 (the latest available as of October 7), the national average for resident vaccination was 84.6%, and the national average for staff vaccination was 67.1%. These percentages are expected to increase given the imminent federal policy that nursing home staff must be fully vaccinated in order for their respective facilities to receive federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.
This new online tool allows users to search nursing homes by city, state, or ZIP code. The results for specific facilities display the COVID-19 vaccination rates among residents and staff. Other information provided for all facilities includes total residents that have a confirmed case of COVID-19 as well as total residents that have died from COVID-19. According to CMS, this data will be updated on a bi-weekly basis. Users will be able to compare multiple nursing homes side-by-side, and they’ll be able to see how facility data stacks up against state and national averages.
In addition to the goal of making nursing home COVID-19 data easily available to consumers, this comparative tool is meant to increase pressure on nursing homes with lower numbers of vaccinated residents or staff. The introduction of this new consumer-friendly data feature will allow residents and their families to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing a nursing home.
Below are two graphs from CMS that show the percent of nursing home residents and staff with completed COVID-19 vaccinations per facility as of September 26, 2021. The graphs have been organized by state, from the highest to the lowest average vaccination percentage among facilities.