Sens. Casey And Toomey Issue Report Revealing Hundreds Of Troubled Nursing Homes

Henrietta Strickland
Июня 7, 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Wednesday it would begin regularly releasing a list of roughly 400 nursing nursing homes that are candidates for a little-known government program created to improve facilities that consistently provide poor care.

Kate Goodrich, the chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services, or CMS, said on a call with reporters the agency would release its list of chronic, underperformers "soon", but stopped short of committing to a timeline.

"I am pleased that CMS has taken the work that I have done with Senator Toomey seriously and is heeding our call to release the list of nursing facilities that are nominated to the Special Focus Facilities program", Casey said. 20 Pennsylvania nursing homes are listed in the report, but none are located in the Valley. What goes on inside is not always made public.

There are at least 17 Florida nursing homes on the list, which you can find here .

The names of the facilities chosen to participate in the program are made public. That program comprises 88 nursing homes, including one in Alabama, that receive a higher level of observation by CMS and could lead to the stripping of their Medicare and Medicaid funding if violations are not corrected.

"CMS is not waiting, and not settling for the status quo: I have directed my team at CMS to undertake a comprehensive review of our regulations, guidelines, internal structure, and processes related to safety and quality in nursing homes", Verma wrote in the post. CMS Administrator Seema Verma in April named increasing transparency as one of her priorities in a five-part plan to improve care quality in nursing homes.

Efforts by AL.com to reach the four nursing homes were not immediately successful.

In a statement, CMS said its starred ratings on the Nursing Home Compare website are already the best yardstick "for consumers to understand and use".

"CMS is holding nursing homes accountable through oversight and enforcement measures and striving for better transparency of nursing home quality", the spokesperson said.

The almost 400 facilities that are candidates for the shorter list "qualify for the program because they are identified as having a "persistent record of poor care" but are not selected for participation as a result of limited resources at (CMS)", said the report from Casey and Toomey. The same inspection report noted the nursing home quickly started to address the issue. Casey and Toomey alleged in their report that some of the properties on the non-public candidate list had positive ratings, with almost half reporting staffing or quality ratings of three stars or more. But the approximately 400 nursing homes not selected to participate are kept hidden from the public.

"In addition, it's important to spend time looking at the entire picture of a facility when making care decisions", Martino said in an e-mail to SNN. Casey said he supported the agency's decision to begin regularly releasing the list. "Their report draws heavily on the publicly available information from CMS".

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