If someone you love has been the victim of nursing home neglect, you’ve probably wondered how such a crime could go unnoticed by the authorities. The truth is that federal nursing home inspectors are always on the lookout for signs of abuse. When they find it, they hit the nursing homes where it hurts: their funding.

Many nursing homes receive government funding from Medicare and Medicaid. In order to receive this subsidy, facilities must allow inspectors to tour the home and ensure that residents are being kept safe and healthy. Most facilities will have six or seven violations per tour, and will correct these problems within a reasonable period of time.

However, some facilities routinely fail inspection and do not make a reasonable attempt to fix the issues before the next inspection period. In these cases, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have instituted a Special Focus Facility program in addition to their regular inspection roster.

Institutions included on the Special Focus Facility (SFF) list generally have:

  • More violations than other facilities—about twice the number of problems.
  • Problems which are considered more serious than usual—such as resident harm or injury.
  • A pattern of serious issues that have not been corrected over a long period of time—up to three years before the date that the nursing home was added to the SFF list.

The SFF has been especially helpful in identifying facilities who have a history of “wishy-washy” compliance. Some nursing homes would make just enough improvements to pass a follow-up survey, only to fail in similar areas in the next inspection, pointing to a systemic problem that was still present in the facility.

The good news is that SFF nursing homes are visited by survey teams twice as frequently as other nursing homes, and that persistent violations can result in fines, penalties, or loss of all Medicare and Medicaid funding. The bad news is that it takes three years of constant care violations. This can increase the likelihood that your loved one will suffer abuse, neglect, or worse before his plight is detected.

Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?

If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky

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