Nursing Homes Cited for Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Now Highlighted with “STOP” Icon on Government Website
In response to a recommendation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), The Centers for Medicaid & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it will now be easier for consumers to identify nursing homes and long-term care facilities with instances of non-compliance related to abuse. To do so, CMS is rolling out a warning icon strategy to highlight facilities that meet the following criteria:
- Facilities cited for abuse where residents were found to be harmed (Scope/Severity of G or higher) on the most recent standard survey, or on a complaint survey within the past 12 months;
- Facilities cited for abuse where residents were found to be potentially harmed (Scope/Severity of D or higher) on the most recent standard survey or a complaint survey within the past 12 months, and on the previous (i.e., second most recent) standard survey or on a on a complaint survey in the prior 12 months (i.e., from 24 months ago to 12 months ago)
The icon, designed as a bright red “STOP” hand, may negatively shift a provider’s overall federal quality rating, but the change is welcome by most elder abuse advocates after years of systems being in non-compliance and unexplained inconsistencies in quality measures. With the icon, consumers will now have one more piece of information about a facility’s history of abuse, neglect or exploitation citations when visiting the CMS’s Five-Star Quality Rating System via The Nursing Home Compare Website.
The memorandum by CMS concluded, “We believe this icon will help consumers make informed decisions about their health care. To support this, we will also update a consumer checklist with questions that consumers can use to ask facilities for information about how they prevent abuse. Lastly, we believe this action will serve as an additional incentive for facilities to prevent abuse.”
How To Choose The Right Nursing Home
The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti are pleased with this screening addition. We believe shielding nursing home violators or confusing consumers with hard-to-digest data will not curb the elder abuse and nursing home neglect epidemic but rather make it worse. All risks must be known and the new icon system used to identify harmful facilities is a win for both residents and their families.
In addition to looking out for the new “STOP” icon before admitting a loved one to a nursing home, we encourage family members to also:
- Research the CMS quality rating of your loved one’s nursing home on Nursing Home Compare.
- Review Illinois’ most recent nursing home violations list (through the Illinois Department of Public Health or IDPH).
- Become familiar with the 22 known Illinois Special Focus Facility (SFF) program facilitiesidentified in June 2019.
- Tour each facility and come prepared with a checklist of questions.
Contact Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys in Illinois
If you suspect an injury resulting from neglect or abuse at your loved one’s nursing home in Illinois, contact the attorneys of Levin & Perconti now at 1-877-374-1417 or by completing our online case evaluation form for a free consultation.