CMS reverses decision on access to Idaho inspection reports

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

An apparent “misinterpretation” of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services led to the federal agency warning Idaho to stop posting reports of inspections of nursing homes and hospitals last month.

The warning, according to a May 25 Associated Press story, directed the state to only release the reports after a written request under the Freedom of Information Act was filed.

But an article published May 27 in The Times-News quotes a CMS spokesperson who says the agency checked with its general counsel and “determined that Idaho and any other state can post the reports 14 days after they’re generated.”

State officials had appealed the decision and have said they will resume posting the documents as soon as they received official word of the CMS reversal.

The reports don’t appear to be currently available on the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare‘s Web site but the agency is launching a redesigned site this weekend, so perhaps they’ll be available next week.

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