The CMS publicly released the names of 131 nursing homes that have racked up enough patient-safety violations to land on the agencys worst-of list, a sign that they could ultimately lose federal funding if they dont improve.
Additionally, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (D-Iowa) said they would introduce legislation on Feb. 14 that would require nursing homes to release the results of government inspections, staffing data, ownership information and whether or not they appear on the CMS list of Special Focus Facilities.
Of the 131 facilities, 52 of them have shown no improvement, another 27 have been newly added, and two no longer participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs, acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems said during a conference call with reporters. Fifty-two homes have shown improvement, and three facilities lost their SFF designation after passing two consecutive inspections.
This is the latest in a series of steps we will be taking to improve quality and oversight in nursing homes, Weems said. We are issuing more information on special focus facilities to better equip beneficiaries, their families and caregivers to make informed decisions and stimulate robust improvements in nursing homes having not improved their quality of care.
The CMS in November 2007 released a partial list of 54 homes that earned SFF designation. Weems said that of those facilities, about 21 have shown improvement, passing at least one survey.
Once a facility is listed, state and federal surveyors will conduct twice the number of surveysnormally two per yearand will apply progressive enforcement until the nursing home makes significant improvement. -- by Matthew DoBias
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