FAMILIES’ AND RESIDENTS’ RIGHT TO KNOW: UNCOVERING POOR CARE IN AMERICA’S NURSING HOMES
From the Offices of US Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Bob Casey (D-PA) June, 2019 (excerpts)
Many older Americans and people with disabilities living in nursing homes benefit from the care of dedicated leadership and staff members devoted to the health, flourishing and overall well-being of their residents. Investigative reporting, however, continues to identify facilities that fall short of the care standards required of every one of our nation’s nursing homes. In such facilities, some residents have experienced outright neglect, such as going without proper nutrition or languishing in filthy conditions. Some older adults and people with disabilities have even experienced physical abuse, sexual assault and premature death.
…This report examines federal oversight of our nation’s consistently poor-performing nursing homes. …
Many documented cases of abuse and neglect occur in facilities affiliated with the federal Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. The SFF program is designed to increase oversight of facilities that persistently underperform in required inspections conducted by state survey agencies. As stipulated by federal law, the SFF program targets those facilities that “substantially fail” to meet the required care standards and resident protections afforded by the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Participants of and candidates for the SFF program represent only a small fraction of facilities. Of the more than 15,700 nursing homes nationwide, less than 0.6% (a maximum of 88 facilities) are selected for the program. The names of these facilities are made public. An additional 2.5% of facilities (approximately 400 facilities) qualify for the program because they are identified as having a “persistent record of poor care” but are not selected for participation as a result of limited resources at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Despite being indistinguishable from participants in terms of their qualifications for enhanced oversight, candidates are not publicly disclosed. As a result, individuals and families making decisions about nursing home care for themselves or for a loved one are unlikely to be aware of these candidates.
On March 4, 2019, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) wrote to CMS. In that letter, the Senators asked CMS to provide the list of approximately 400 SFF candidates and requested information about the program’s operations, scope and overall effectiveness. On May 3, 2019, CMS provided a written response to the Senators’ inquiry and, on May 14, 2019, the agency transmitted the list of SFF candidates for April of 2019 to the Senators.
Through the release of the SFF candidate list and this report, which details preliminary findings from surveys and public information about these candidate facilities, the Senators aim to provide Americans and their families with the transparency and information they deserve when choosing a home in which to entrust the care of a loved one. …
In Hawaii, a facility (Kuakini Geriatric Care, INC of Honolulu, HI) failed to correct an insect infestation such that there were cockroaches and ants near residents, on countertops and crawling on medical charts.47 As of May 29, 2019, this facility had an overall rating of two stars, with a quality rating of five stars.48
read … Full Report
SFF and SFF Candidate Facilities in Hawaii
- 125065 LEGACY HILO REHABILITATION & NURSING CENTER Hawaii SFF
- 125057 KULANA MALAMA Hawaii SFF Candidate
- 125031 KOHALA HOSPITAL Hawaii SFF Candidate
- 125026 KUAKINI GERIATRIC CARE, INC Hawaii¡ SFF Candidate
- 125029 SAMUEL MAHELONA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL Hawaii SFF Candidate
- 125015 WAHIAWA GENERAL HOSPITAL Hawaii SFF Candidate
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