The nation’s 54 worst-performing nursing homes were recently identified by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but the federal agency continues to keep secret a list of at least 74 additional nursing homes with a history of performance problems. The list of these "special-focus facilities" was given to industry lobbyists at the American Health Care Association, a professional organization of nursing home owners and operators, but has not been disclosed to the public. Politicians have started requesting public release of the information. Nursing homes on the watch list are inspected twice as often as those facilities that are not on the list. If the nursing homes do not show continued improvement, they could have their Medicaid and Medicare funding cut off, which usually requires the facility to close its doors. Read more about the worst nursing homes in the country.
I can't believe anyone wouldn't want the names of all of the worst nursing homes made public, whether or not they are on the "watch list" or are trying to improve. Improvement is a relative term. It means only that something is getting better. An "improving" nursing home can still be a hazard to the patients who live there. We all have an interest in knowing the names of these poor performers. Those who want to keep the names of these facilities private need to stop playing politics . . . lives depend on it!
Posted on Fri, January 11, 2008
by Robert Carter