Lawmaker Proposes Linking Nursing Homes’ HUD Loan Eligibility to CMS Quality Ratings


A U.S. representative this week filed legislation that would link a nursing home’s eligibility for federally backed loans to the facility’s CMS quality ratings.

The legislation proposes that facilities with an overall quality rating of less than two stars be deemed ineligible for mortgage insurance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Industry groups are skeptical of the legislation because lower-rated facilities are sometimes the ones that would most benefit from such loans.

The legislation was filed by U.S. Rep. Mark Walker. Read the bill here.

More from the Center for Public Integrity:

Walker’s proposed Nursing Home Accountability Act seeks to link the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) quality ratings to loan eligibility by ensuring that new federally backed loans go to facilities with a demonstrated commitment to quality care for their residents, according to Walker spokesman Kyle Hall. Walker is a North Carolina Republican.

Under the proposed legislation, if a nursing home receives an overall quality rating of 2 stars or less out of a possible 5 stars for 30 consecutive months, the nursing home will be ineligible for any future mortgages guaranteed by HUD.


Walker wanted to bar from the program nursing homes that had provided sub-standard care for two inspection cycles, Hall said. The legislation’s 30-month threshold would give facilities sufficient time to improve the quality of care.

But Clifton J. Porter, II, senior vice president of government relations for the American Health Care Association, a nursing home industry group, expressed concerns about the bill.

“Upon initial review, AHCA has concerns with this legislation that we would like to discuss with the Congressman,” Porter said in a statement. “Because skilled nursing centers use these loans for improvements that enhance patient care, we would not want to see centers that need the loans the most prohibited from receiving them.”

The proposal would make about 12 percent of facilities ineligible for HUD loans, according to the Center for Public Integrity.


Photo by  Bob Jagendorf via Flickr CC License

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