Public Can Check Nursing Home Vaccination Rates Online
State Officials Applaud New Federal Tool Updating Staff, Resident Vaccination Data
HARTFORD, October 13, 2021—The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) and Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) are applauding a new online tool developed by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that makes it easier to check COVID-19 vaccination rates of nursing home staff and residents.
“This excellent addition to the CMS website enables the public to check on vaccination rates at individual nursing homes in Connecticut and other states,” said DSS Commissioner Dr. Deidre S. Gifford, who also serves as Governor Lamont’s senior advisor for health and human services. “As our federal partners note, this will help people make informed decisions when choosing a nursing home for themselves or a loved one.”
Commissioner Gifford added that Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes have been required to report weekly COVID-19 vaccination data for both residents and staff since May. CMS has begun posting the information at COVID-19 Nursing Home Data, or https://data.cms.gov/covid-19/covid-19-nursing-home-data (part of the www.medicare.gov website).
“CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are continuing to use these data to monitor vaccine uptake among residents and staff and to identify facilities that may need additional resources or assistance to respond to the pandemic,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani. “We commend CMS for empowering nursing home residents and their families and caregivers with the information they need when choosing care providers. This tool gives people a new tool to visualize these data to help them make informed decisions.”
Commissioners Gifford and Juthani have joined Governor Lamont in calling on nursing home staff to get vaccinated to protect their residents, co-workers and their own families. Vaccination remains the most important defense against illness and in helping stop the spread of the Delta variant.
The most recent CMS data show that the average vaccination rate for Connecticut nursing home staff is 84.7 percent. Meanwhile, the national percentage of vaccinated nursing staff is only 67.1 percent.
“CMS wants to empower nursing home residents, their families and caregivers with the information they need when choosing care providers for their loved ones. As we continue to work with our partners to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and keep nursing home residents safe, we want to give people a new tool to visualize these data to help them make informed decisions,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in announcing the website feature. “CMS knows that nursing home staff want to protect their residents and is calling on them to get vaccinated now. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and accessible to all at no out-of-pocket cost.”
The addition of this new consumer-friendly data feature is another valuable tool for patients, residents, and families to understand the quality of nursing homes when making health care decisions, the CMS announcement noted.
For immediate release, October 13, 2021; Media contacts:
David.firstname.lastname@example.org, Department of Social Services
Christopher.email@example.com, Department of Public Health