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Deficient Nursing Homes Listed

federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released
the complete list of U.S. nursing homes that have failed to meet safety
and quality standards for care.

The list, which identifies 131 "Special Focus Facilities" that
require additional oversight, follows the release in November 2007 of a
list of 54 such facilities. At that time, CMS came under intense
criticism for making public only a partial list of Special Focus
Facilities while sharing the full list with three associations
representing the nursing home industry. (See "Feds Publish List of 54 Poorest-Performing Nursing Homes.")

created the Special Focus Facility initiative in 1998 in response to
the number of facilities that were consistently providing poor quality
of care. Those facilities were periodically instituting enough
improvement so that they would pass one survey, only to fail the next
for many of the same problems as before. Facilities with this
compliance history rarely addressed underlying systemic problems that
were giving rise to repeated cycles of serious deficiencies.

Serious deficiencies include such things as
failing to give residents their medications in the correct dose at the
correct time, not taking steps to prevent abuse or neglect,
inappropriate use of restraints and failure to prevent or properly
treat bed sores.

Once a facility is selected as a Special Focus Facility, state
survey agencies are responsible for conducting twice the number of
standard surveys and, according to CMS, will apply progressive
enforcement until the nursing home either significantly improves and is
no longer identified as a Special Focus Facility, is granted additional
time due to promising developments, or is terminated from Medicare
and/or Medicaid.

Angela Brice-Smith, Deputy Director the Survey and Certification Group at CMS, told the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform that the list will be updated on a quarterly basis, and that names of the Special Focus Facilities will be kept on the CMS Web site for six months indicating their status. CMS is working on a modification to its Nursing Home Compare
site that will link users to the list from a Special Focus Facility’s
site. Brice-Smith said there are no plans to release the larger list of
facilities whose names are provided to states as candidates for the
Special Focus Facility status.

CMS seems to suddenly be on a crusade to identify suspect nursing homes.  It recently released the names of thousands of nursing homes across the
country that don’t meet federal standards in rates of using patient
restraints or preventing bedsores.


For the list of 131 Special Focus Facilities, go to:

For CMS’s press release on its decision to make public the complete list of the problem facilities,  click here.

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