The Pell City, AL nursing home facilities Diversicare of Pell City and Village at Cook Springs have now received poor ratings from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Both facilities are listed as “Special Focus Facilities” (SFFs) by CMS, meaning they have a history of serious quality issues requiring extensive improvements and have also received worrying scores from ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom organization.
As we discussed in our blog about the worst nursing homes in Alabama, these are two of the many facilities in our state that received just one star in official rating systems and have serious problems that could post health risks to residents.
ProPublica Ratings of These Two Pell City Nursing Homes
Diversicare of Pell City
In addition to the CMS score, the other set of ratings comes from the Long Term Care Community Coalition and propublica.org, which has a different rating system from CMS. ProPublica gives Diversicare of Pell City an “L” rating, which means that the “widespread” deficiencies of the facility pose “immediate jeopardy of resident or safety.”
The online publication said that the Diversicare of Pell City has received $62,664 in fines, 16 total deficiencies, and two deficiencies that violated federal standards protecting residents from the spread of infections. Since the beginning of March 2020, this facility saw 24 deaths from COVID-19 among residents and staff.
Village at Cook Springs
ProPublica classifies the deficiencies at Village at Cook Springs as “J” to “D,” which means that the deficiencies range from posing immediate jeopardy to residents to carrying the potential for more than minimal harm to residents.
Village at Cook Springs has received $469,000 in total fines since 2019, 27 total deficiencies, and three deficiencies that violated federal standards protecting residents from the spread of infections. Since March 2020, this facility saw 23 deaths of COVID-19 among residents and staff.
Why These Ratings Matter
CMS’s rating system has faced criticism after a report from the New York Times revealed that the rating system “provided a badly distorted picture of the quality of care at the nation’s nursing homes.”
The Times said that one of the biggest shortcomings of this rating system was that it relied heavily on self-reported data. Many facilities, the report found, “relied on sleight-of-hand maneuvers to improve their ratings.”
While the Times article has led to public skepticism about facilities with improved or even satisfactory ratings, it does not seem to indicate that facilities with poor rankings, like Diversicare of Pell City and Village at Cook Springs, are in any way undeserving of their abysmal marks.
ProPublica’s nursing home rating system also relies on CMS data but focuses ratings on deficiencies on the three most recent inspection cycles. It also highlights data reported to the federal government regarding COVID-19 cases and deaths.
If Your Loved One Needs Protection From Their Nursing Home, You Have Legal Options
At Sawyer Law Firm, we’ve built a reputation as leading nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys in Alabama. We’re one of the few firms in the state willing to accept cases involving arbitration, and we know how to get results.
If your loved one has been mistreated, neglected, and suffered serious injuries in their nursing home, don’t hesitate to contact our team today to schedule a free consultation.