Worst Nursing Home List Released
A week ago, the Bush administration published the names of 131 nursing homes with poor inspection records and said some were already showing signs of improvement, according to the Associated Press.
The list, released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, represents troubled facilities cited as a "special focus facility," a term used to identify those that merit more oversight. For these homes, states conduct inspections at six-month intervals rather than annually.
CMS will update its list of troubled nursing homes on a quarterly basis, with its next release scheduled for April.
The list released last week shows 52 nursing homes as not showing improvement after they were cited as a higher-risk nursing home, while another 52 did show some improvement. Twenty-seven nursing homes were added to the list in the last six months.
Out of the 54 nursing homes initially disclosed as poor performers last November, 21 have shown improvement, CMS said, adding that publicity about the problems might have played a factor.
While most nursing homes have some deficiencies, with the average being six to seven deficiencies per survey, the special focus facilities typically have about twice that number, and continue to have problems over a long period of time. However, the states determine which nursing homes should get the designation, and inspection standards vary among the states.
The offenses typically involve unnecessary use of medication for elderly residents, or inadequate safeguards to protect residents such as those with Alzheimer's from day-to-day hazards in the nursing home, the Associated Press reports.
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