CMS announced on October 7, 2019 that “[l]ater this month, CMS will – for the first time – display a consumer alert icon next to nursing homes that have been cited for incidents of abuse, neglect, or exploitation for nursing homes on its Nursing Home Compare website … Previously, consumers could learn about past instances of abuse citations at a nursing home, but finding this information from its health inspection reports available on Nursing Home Compare required multiple steps … Beginning October 23, 2019, the new alert icon will be added to the Nursing Home Compare website for facilities cited on inspection reports for one or both of the following: 1) abuse that led to harm of a resident within the past year; and 2) abuse that could have potentially led to harm of a resident in each of the last two years.”
“To ensure CMS is providing the latest information, the icon will be updated monthly, at the same time CMS inspection results are updated. This means consumers will not be forced to wait for CMS’s quarterly updates to see the latest-related information – and nursing homes will not be flagged for longer than necessary if their most recent inspections indicate they have remedied the issues that caused the citations for abuse or potential for abuse and no longer meet the criteria for the icon. This icon will supplement existing information, including the Nursing Home Five-Star Ratings, helping consumers develop a more complete understanding of a facility’s quality.”
In announcing the alert icon, CMS stated: “The already robust Nursing Home Compare tool displays an array of information about nursing homes – including whether a facility meets federal standards with respect to health and safety compliance inspections, staffing levels, and quality measure performance. Previously, consumers could learn about past instances of abuse citations at a nursing home, but finding this information from its health inspection reports available on Nursing Home Compare required multiple steps. Through today’s action, CMS is minimizing the steps, making it easier than ever for patients, residents, and their families and caregivers to quickly identify nursing homes with past citations for abuse.”
CMS’ announcement is entitled “Trump Administration Empowers Nursing Home Patients, Residents, Families, and Caregivers by Enhancing Transparency about Abuse and Neglect.”
The president and CEO of the American Health Care Association said that CMS’ action “should be halted until there is more clarity. We support transparency so that potential residents and their families can make an informed decision on care. We appreciate CMS’ efforts to improve Nursing Home Compare but as we have previously suggested, we believe that CMS should create a standard and rational definition of both abuse and neglect and then report them separately. That would help provide consumers with the information that they need. In addition, CMS should add customer satisfaction to Nursing Home Compare because that is the best way for consumers to select facilities. It’s surprising that we can look for customer reviews of restaurants and hotels that we select, but that information isn’t available for nursing homes. We should have a way to let families and residents think of the facilities they are considering.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in the United States due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home understaffing, nursing home resident-on-resident attack, nursing home sexual abuse, nursing home rape, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys (nursing home claim attorneys) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
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