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“Abuse” Icon Likely to Expose More Than 700 Skilled Nursing Facilities—and Possibly Thousands More

“Abuse” Icon Likely to Expose More Than 700 Skilled Nursing Facilities—and Possibly Thousands More

Nursing Home Compare is a website that allows you to view, explore, and compare more than 15,000 skilled nursing homes around the country, all certified by Medicare and Medicaid.

On the site, the information about each home includes:

  • Results of health and fire safety inspections
  • Staffing of nurses and other healthcare providers
  • General quality of care for residents

The listings on the database are not endorsements or advertisements, so families throughout the country can trust the site for crucial, unbiased information about their elderly loved ones’ future homes.

A recent announcement explained a crucial update scheduled to take effect on October 23rd. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will label certain nursing homes with an “abuse” icon, indicating recent citations for abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

If a nursing home receives this icon, consequences will include:

  • Maximum of 2 out of 5 stars for CMS health inspecting rating
  • Maximum of 4 out of 5 stars for CMS overall rating

Clinical consultants have estimated that more than 700 homes (about 4-5% of the nation’s skilled nursing facilities) on Nursing Home Compare would receive the icon immediately. Most of those (roughly 80%) already have a one- or two-star rating, but 25 of them have 5-stars—likely attracting a wide range of families who might mistakenly expect their loved ones to benefit from a safe and loving home. In those cases, this icon will serve as a vital warning.

An additional 13% (more than 2,000) of skilled nursing facilities have been cited for abuse, neglect, or exploitation in the past 2 years, and if they receive another citation, they will likely receive the icon as well. Combined, the anticipated recipients of the icon and the at-risk facilities comprise nearly 3,000 skilled nursing homes—approximately 18% nationwide.

Responding to the Update

Due to the quality assessment update, stakeholders will likely need to investigate their facilities’ histories of standard or complaint surveys and adjust their investments accordingly. Because so many families use Nursing Home Compare, receiving an abuse icon on the site will likely create significant national impact for the facility’s reputation and financial success.

Providers should take an active role in training staff on policies and procedures to prevent future noncompliance with skilled nursing facility standards. Families will benefit the most, because they will have an additional opportunity to identify safe facilities for their elderly loved ones. Ultimately, the abuse icon will likely raise the standard of acceptable treatment and help hold negligent or abusive caretakers accountable.

Have You Been Affected by Nursing Home Abuse?

Consult with an Alabama lawyer who devotes his life to supporting our society’s most vulnerable members. At Sawyer Law Firm, our legal team has years of experience representing nursing home residents and their families in elder abuse cases. Did you trust your providers and caretakers to fulfill their legal and moral obligation to your loved one, only to discover acts of abuse, neglect, or exploitation instead? We will help you hold them accountable.

If you need information about your rights or skilled representation in court, contact the Sawyer Law Firm at today.