Poor Quality Nursing Homes Put on Notice

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Apr 29, 2010 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights

Responding to a recommendation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report entitled Poorly Performing Nursing Homes: Special Focus Facilities Are Often Improving, but CMSs Program Could Be Strengthened, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun notifying nursing homes at risk of becoming Special Focus Facilities (SFFs). SFFs are chosen based on scores in CMS's Five-Star Quality Nursing Home Rating System.

If so designated, SFFs are subject to extra inspections and increased enforcement. The GAO report found that of the 355 nursing homes designated as SFFs from January 2005 through February 2008, 51 percent graduated, 21 percent were terminated from participation (and, therefore, payment) in the Medicare and Medicaid programs involuntarily, and 20 percent voluntary ceased participation in Medicare and Medicaid.

A majority of the facilities reviewed by the GAO had failed to improve.  The GAO found that SFFs were more likely to be for-profit, affiliated with chains, and larger than other facilities.

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