CMS Cites 52 Worst Nursing Homes

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Thanks to The Consumerist for alerting us to CMS’s release of its list of the 52 worst nursing homes in the country. These are the poorest performers of the 128 current Special Focus Facilities— (SFF) Medicaid- and Medicare-qualified nursing homes that have a history of serious health and safety problems and that are subject to additional CMS scrutiny and inspections. Once a facility has made significant improvements in quality of care—and those improvements are continued over time—the nursing home “graduates” from the SFF list.

Besides the obvious step of visiting a nursing home, CMS recommends the use of its Nursing Home Compare tool to review ratings for these and other nursing homes under consideration. Don’t hesitate to talk to administration and staff about any issues mentioned in the CMS rating, and follow up with your local state ombudsperson, Administration on Aging, and local groups to find out more about the nursing home.

CMS’s Nursing Homes brochure and Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home are also useful publications during this process.

Transitions in care, whether from a hospital to home or hospital to nursing facility, are stressful times for the patient’s family and caregivers. The extra few minutes to retrieve this easily available information can save loved ones from an unpleasant and potentially life-threatening experience.

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