Five nursing homes in Ohio made it onto a list of “Special Focus Facilities” maintained by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Generally, a facility placed on this list has displayed a history of serious issues in the quality of care, as reported by the Akron Beacon Journal.
Facilities placed on the CMS special focus roster may receive additional monitoring by federal and state regulators with a significant increase in onsite inspections. The objective is to bring nursing homes into compliance with the standards set by regulators. The ability to ensure that residents receive quality care and that support systems remain in optimal working condition are critical factors in meeting regulatory standards. They may determine whether a facility continues to receive Medicare or Medicaid assistance.
Negligence resulting in patient injuries and health issues
Staffing problems and poor management may also pose a threat to the health and safety of residents. One Ohio facility voluntarily closed its doors after receiving negative publicity for landing on the CMS list. Allegedly, the rehabilitation and nursing home had issues with poor management, and its staff failed in its duty of providing quality care. Patients with diabetes or bedsores went unchecked and untreated, which resulted in uncontrollable glucose levels and infections.
Avoiding nursing homes that lack quality care
Continuous monitoring of facilities by officials may help in correcting hazardous health and safety violations. Avoiding placing loved ones in nursing homes that are on the SFF list, however, may also help prevent injuries, neglect or abuse. Because elderly or vulnerable patients generally have trouble communicating issues or complaints, relatives of residents may need to visit more often to make sure that they receive proper treatment.
Filing a legal action against a facility
The outcome of a poorly managed nursing home is usually a reduction in its patients’ health care and safety. This is not only a regulatory concern, but it is also grounds for a legal action to recover for preventable injuries, deaths or other serious damages.