GAO Releases Nursing Home Study and Identifies SFF

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is reporting that they are now notifying those nursing homes who are candidates to become Special Focus Facilities (SFF). SFFs are chosen from among the 15 worst-scoring nursing home in each individual state. Those who chose SFFs analyze the Five-Star Quality Nursing Home Rating System in order to choose which homes make the list. Once a home is chosen as an SFF it is subject to extra inspections and increased enforcement.

The NCCNHR is reporting that of the 355 nursing homes in the SFF program since January of 2005, 51 percent graduated. This means that they had two consecutive standard surveys and no complaint investigations. However, this also shows that almost half of the nursing homes failed to improve. They will continue to remain in the program designed to curb nursing home neglect and abuse. The GAO discovered that SFFs were more likely to be for-profit nursing homes who were affiliated with chain owners.

The SFFs are sorted into different categories by the CMS. One such category is facilities that have not improved. Currently, Illinois has one nursing home in this list, Embassy Health Care Center in Wilmington, Illinois. There is also a category for facilities that are beginning to show improvement. Two Chicago nursing homes are in this SFF category. Both Alden Wentworth Rehab & Healthcare Center and International Nursing And Rehab Center are located on the city’s south side. Additionally, Pekin Manor in Pekin, Illinois is identified as an SFF. To locate more nursing homes that have been designated as SFFs, please click the link.

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