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CMS Makes it Easier to Identify Nursing Home with a History of Poor Care

Posted On September 25, 2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has new online icons that flag nursing homes with a history of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

CMS Icons are Protecting Residents

Many nursing homes and long-term care facilities in America have a disturbing history of resident abuse, neglect, and exploitation. To prevent illness and injury to elderly residents, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced online icons that alert consumers to nursing home facilities that have been cited for these types of incidents.

The three icons let consumers compare facilities and check for violations. CMS alert icons are valuable tools that show how facilities are managed, operated, and rated after routine inspections.

Red Icon

A red icon indicates recent citations for physical, verbal, mental, or sexual abuse and/or neglect. CMS defines abuse as any type of willful infliction of injury, punishment, intimidation, or unreasonable confinement that results in physical or mental harm. A red icon indicates a facility has been cited within the past year for abuse and/or neglect that may cause harm to a resident. Nursing home neglect lawyers commonly see claims filed against nursing homes with repeated violations for neglect and poor resident care.

Yellow Icon

A yellow icon indicates a Special Focus Facility (SFF), a facility that’s participating in a special program to increase the quality of care. CMS defines SFF facilities as nursing homes with cycles of deficiencies and repeated problems with compliance. SFF facilities are subject to full onsite inspections every six months and required to fix cited problems to graduate from the CMS program. CMS records show that 10% of SFF nursing homes are closed due to a lack of compliance.

Green Icon

A green icon indicates a facility has no violations or citations within the last two years.

CMS oversees all nursing home and long-term care facilities across the country that receive federal funding to operate. Facilities are required by law to provide a high-level of medical and personal care and a safe environment for all residents. If facilities do not follow proper operating protocols, they receive violations and monetary fines, as well as orders to resolve problems. Facilities that do not comply run the risk of a lawsuit by a nursing home neglect lawyer or loss of federal funding and/or facility closure by CMS.

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