CHICAGO, IL – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will now be easier for the public to find nursing homes that have violated rules regarding abuse, neglect, or exploitation beginning today, October 23, 2019.
The agency’s Nursing Home Compare website provides detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home nationwide. The tool allows you to search by location and/or nursing home names. There is now an icon next to the nursing homes that have been cited reported violations.
Consumers are able to see violations through the inspection reports provided on the website; however, CMS stated that inspection reports are becoming too difficult to access and adding the icon feature will make it easier to find information about abuse citations. The icon warns consumers about the harmful abuse of a resident within the last year, and the potentially harmful abuse of a resident within the last two years. CMS will be updating data information monthly.
In April, CMS announced they were adding improvements to the State Performance Standards System (SPSS) including ending the freeze on the health inspection domain of the Five Star Quality Rating System by resuming traditional methods of calculating health inspection scores by using three cycles of inspections. They will be adding the long-stay hospitalization measure and a measure of long-stay emergency department transfers to the rating system. CMS will also be adjusting the thresholds for staffing ratings. Finally, the threshold for the ‘number of days without a registered nurse onsite’ which will trigger an automatic downgrade to one star will be reduced from seven to four days.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said, “By holding inspectors accountable for conducting timely and consistent inspections, we’re holding nursing homes accountable for providing safe, high-quality care–helping ensure safe nursing home environments.”
CMS hopes to become more consistent and transparent, requiring hospitals to post their list prices for consumers and force them to post their payer-negotiated rates starting in January 2020. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Congress are thinking of ways to force drug companies to disclose to consumers the real cost of drugs. The measure, passed in May, was intended for healthcare consumers with price transparency for prescription medications to help lower prescription costs.
According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, nearly 1-2 million U.S. citizens 65 years or older have been mistreated, exploited, or injured by a caregiver. Only about 20 percent of cases or abuse and neglect are reported. If you’re looking to place a loved one in a nursing home facility, it’s important to do your research before placing them in one. Now that CMC has provided consumers with nursing homes that have been cited for abuse, neglect, and exploitation, it will be much easier to assess facility’s that will be better suited for your loved one.
If you think you or a loved one has experienced abuse, neglect, or been exploited while at the hands of a caregiver, please call one of our experienced nursing home abuse attorney’s right away to schedule a free consultation. Do not wait to hear what the facility is going to do going forward to address this issue. Due to the statue of limitations, we will have to begin working on your case right away. For any additional information, please check out our website.
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