Online Survey, Certification and Reporting (OSCAR) is a data network maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in cooperation with the state long-term care surveying agencies. OSCAR is a compilation of all the data elements collected by surveyors during the inspection survey conducted at nursing facilities for the purpose of certification for participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
OSCAR is the most comprehensive source of facility level information on the operations, patient census and regulatory compliance of nursing facilities. Data elements collected on CMS forms 1539, 671, 672, 673 and 2567 are included in the OSCAR data.
The OSCAR database includes the nursing home operational characteristics and aggregate patient characteristics for each facility.
Onsite evaluations are conducted by state survey agencies. The findings of these surveys are entered into the OSCAR database. The evaluations occur at least once during a 15-month period, or as a result of a complaint being investigated. The state survey agencies are responsible for entering survey information into the OSCAR database and providing updates as needed. Every attempt is made by CMS to assure the accuracy and timeliness of the data.
Information on the nursing homes operational characteristics are reported on CMS Form 671 and patient characteristics are reported on CMS Form 672. Both of these forms are completed by the nursing home at the time of the inspection. This information is reported by the nursing homes themselves. It is reviewed by nursing home inspectors, but not formally audited to ensure data accuracy. In addition, this information changes frequently as residents are discharged and admitted, or resident conditions change.
Information on the nursing homes standard health and life safety deficiencies are reported on CMS Form 2567 by the surveyor at the time of the inspection. Results from the standard health survey are evaluated to determine whether a nursing facility is providing care according to the requirements, which the federal government deems representative of quality care, and whether the care and services provided by the facility meet the assessed needs of each resident. Results from the standard life safety survey are evaluated to determine a facility’s compliance with the Life Safety Code fire and building safety standards, which are developed, updated and published by the National Fire Protection Association and incorporated into the federal requirements.
Reports are prepared at the national and state levels which are extracted from the OSCAR database.