Ensuring Good Nursing Home Care

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has identified about 80 nursing homes nationwide that are subject to increased oversight because the facilities have “substantially failed” to meet the required care standards and resident protections mandated by federal and state regulations. These facilities are part of CMS’s Special Focus Facilities Program and are subject to increased monitoring as a result of their poor performance.  A Senate report released this week states that, in addition to those nursing homes, nearly 400 additional nursing homes nationwide have demonstrated a “persistent record of poor care.” These additional nursing homes are considered to be candidates for the Special Focus Facilities Program.  Unfortunately according to CMS, the candidates are not subject to increased oversight or publication due to the federal agency’s limited resources.

In addition to monitoring by CMS, nursing facilities are subject to state requirements, including oversight.  In Ohio, the Department of Health regularly inspect facilities and investigate complaints.  Further information regarding the state’s oversight may be found here.

The Ohio Department of Aging conducts satisfaction surveys asking both residents and family for their input regarding the care provided.  The results of these surveys are then made available to the public.  Further information may be found here.

State inspections and satisfaction surveys are important and helpful to ensuring good care.  However, it is also helpful to have an advocate who visits regularly and can monitor the care that a loved one is receiving.  If family is not local or can’t be available, a professional may be able to serve in that role.  Nothing beats regular contact to ensure good care for a loved one.

Posted in Blog, Older Adults.