Nearly 400 facilities nationwide had a “persistent record of poor care” as of April, but they were not included along with a shorter list of homes that get increased federal scrutiny and do have warning labels, according to a Senate report released Monday.
Budget cuts appear to be contributing to the problem by reducing money available for the focused inspections that are required for nursing homes on the shorter list, according to documents and interviews.
The secrecy undermines the federal commitment to ensure transparency for families going through the difficult process of finding a nursing home for a loved one and raises questions about why the names of some nursing homes are not disclosed while others are publicly identified, according to two senators who released the report on Monday.
“We’ve got to make sure any family member or any potential resident of a nursing home can get this information, not only ahead of time but on an ongoing basis,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who along with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., issued a report on the issue.
“When a family makes the hard decision to seek nursing home services for a loved one, they deserve to know if a facility under consideration suffers from systemic shortcomings,” said Toomey.
The senators released a list provided them by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, of nursing homes with documented problems whose names were not publicly disclosed by the government.
The report and list were provided exclusively to The Associated Press and to PennLive.com.
About 1.3 million Americans are nursing home residents, cared for in more than 15,700 facilities. The senators’ report noted that problem nursing homes account for about 3 percent.
List of Michigan Facilities:
- CLARKSTON SPECIALTY HEALTHCARE CENTER
- METRON OF BELDING
- SCHOOLCRAFT MEDICAL CARE FACILITY
- MEDILODGE OF STERLING HEIGHTS
- MEDILODGE OF SOUTHFIELD
- SAMARITAS SENIOR LIVING SAGINAW
- MEDILODGE OF MIDLAND
- CAMBRIDGE EAST HEALTHCARE CENTER
- MEDILODGE OF LIVINGSTON
- VICTORY HEALTH & REHABILITATION
CMS does publicly disclose names of a smaller group of about 80 nursing homes that are getting special scrutiny to help them resolve documented quality problems. They’re in what’s called the Special Focus Facility program, which is more than 20 years old. Nursing homes that don’t improve can be cut off by Medicare and Medicaid. But if the nursing home resolves its problems, it “graduates” from the program
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