Virginia Nursing Home Graduates from Medicare's List of Special Focus Facilities

As of January 17, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have identified Avante at Harrisonburg, of Harrisonburg, Virginia as a special focus facility which has recently graduated from the program.

According to CMS, special focus facilities are facilities that have been identified as having care issues that put the facility at risk of losing its federal funding. The special focus facilities generally have twice as many care deficiencies as the average nursing home. They have also been found to have an increased number of serious deficiencies which threaten harm or injury to the residents. Lastly, special focus facilities exhibit a pattern of serious problems that have persisted over a sustained period of time.

According to CMS, Avante at Harrisonburg has shown sustained improvement for about a year. The facility will remain listed as a graduate from the program for there months. CMS cautions that facilities that graduate may still have problems in the quality of care, but have shown an upward trend compared to the prior care history. The facility has been a part of the special focus facility initiative for 20 months.

While it is encouraging to see the facility showing sustained improvement, it is concerning that the care at the facility created a need for CMS to designate it as a special focus facility. Avante at Harrisonburg is a part of the Avante Centers which operate facilities in three states. The facility has three sister facilities in Virginia: Avante at Lynchburg, (Lynchburg, Virginia); Avante at Roanoke, (Roanoke, Virginia); and Avante at Waynesboro, (Waynesboro, Virginia). Currently none of the sister facilities are designated as special focus facilities.

For the full report on special focus facilities, click here.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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