List of Deficient Nursing Homes Made Public
In early 2019, two senators urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to release a nursing homes list of deficient nursing homes which qualify for special scrutiny from government inspectors because of poor quality of care. The list, which has now been released to the public, consists of facilities in every state which demonstrate numerous deficiencies in health care and fire safety, have serious and life-threatening problems, and which have had a pattern of deficiencies and violations continuing over a long period of time.
Check the List
The list consists of deficient nursing homes and assisted living facilities designated as part of the Special Focus Facilities (SFF) program by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Special Focus Facilities receive twice the normal amount of inspections from regulators, and are subject to fines or expulsion from Medicare and Medicaid eligibility if conditions there do not improve. Nursing homes red-flagged under the SFF program are also identified on the Nursing Home Compare website of CMS.
Note that CMS offers this advice to consumers, “If the nursing home is an SFF, look at the length of time that a nursing home has been on the SFF list. This is particularly important if the nursing home has been an SFF nursing home for more than 18-24 months, since such nursing homes are closer to either graduating (due to improvements) or ending their participation in Medicare and Medicaid.” “If you currently reside in a SFF nursing home, please know that this home is being closely monitored (it is inspected twice as often as other nursing homes). You may also direct any questions you have to the contacts above. The good news is that most of the deficient nursing homes in the SFF program significantly improve their quality of care within 18-24 months” after being designated SFF.
The six tables of facilities on the list on the website include those that are newly added, those that have not improved after one inspection, those that have been improving, those that have “graduated” from the SFF designation, those that no longer participate in Medicare/Medicaid, and those that qualify to be an SFF candidate according to state authorities. On each table, readers can find the nursing home’s name, address, phone number, the date of most recent inspection, and the time that has passed since it was designated SFF.
Resident in an SFF?
If your loved one lives in one of the SFF nursing homes, contact the Long-Term Care ombudsman of the facility to find out more about the nursing home and efforts to improve its status with CMS. The LTC ombudsman is a volunteer who is trained to advocate for the residents’ needs and to protect the rights and safety of residents. Each nursing home has an LTC ombudsman and the name and contact information should be posted in the home. Family members of a resident may ask the nursing home staff for that contact information. You can find the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in your area of your state at this website.
Choosing a Home?
If you are choosing a nursing home, this website can help you compare the facilities in your area and know how they rate.
Nursing Home Compare allows you to find and compare nursing homes certified by Medicare and Medicaid. Nursing homes are not included on Nursing Home Compare if they are not certified by Medicare or Medicaid. Those nursing homes may be licensed by a state.
Caregivers, be vigilant, and advocate for good care for the residents in nursing homes, particularly your own loved ones. This list and the websites above can help you do that.