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Penalization of Nursing Homes flawed

An LA Times article reveals: The inspector general for the Health and Human Services Department found that 55 nursing homes between 2000 and 2002 should have been penalized for jeopardizing patients’ safety. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid should have ended their contracts but the agency’s staff were often reluctant to displace residents if they thought a facility would improve their performance.

In addition to ending a home’s Medicare contract, the government is required to deny payment for new admissions when nursing homes take more than three months to come into “substantial compliance” with federal rules.

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