courtesy of NAELA eBulletin:
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.1
Alarmingly, recent state survey findings reveal a number of such cases. Over the course of several years, at just one facility in Pennsylvania, documented instances include an unnecessary hospitalization resulting from an avoidable pressure sore, an escaped resident with dementia, mismanagement of medications, unsanitary shower and bathroom areas and uncleaned oxygen tubes.2 Further, a years-long investigation conducted by PennLive revealed an unsettling pattern of poor care in select Pennsylvania nursing homes involving improper wound care, insect infestations, supply shortages and more.3 Unfortunately, these are not the only instances of drastically substandard care. 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.4 The SFF program is designed to increase oversight of facilities that persistently underperform in required inspections conducted by state survey agencies.5 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.6