Nursing homes must ensure that residents are receiving quality care and are protected from harm at all times. However, too many nursing homes fail to comply with the federal standards of care. For example, federal studies and data, as well as our own reports over the years, have indicated that most nursing homes do not have the levels of staffing necessary to meet the needs of typical nursing home residents, and that recurring health violations are common. In fact, the average U.S. nursing home has seven (7) violations of minimum health standards every year. Unfortunately, residents are at a greater risk of experiencing harm when such violations occur.
To help individuals and their families make good choices about nursing home care, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rates nursing homes on a scale of one to five (one being the lowest, five the highest). While ratings are not always useful in identifying “good” nursing homes – many abuse and neglect deficiencies go undetected in facilities of all ratings – the existence of a low rating indicates that serious issues have been identified.
Sadly, too many nursing homes have been found to have persistent, serious problems. To help address this, CMS developed the Special Focus Facility (SFF) Program, in which facilities with an extremely poor record of resident safety and care are identified for intensified oversight and enforcement. The goal of the SFF Program is to ensure that these facilities develop and implement practices and protocols for lasting improvement within about two years or, if they are unable to do so, are terminated from participation in the Medicare/Medicaid programs. Unfortunately, the SFF Program is extremely limited: to just 88 facilities in the country (with only three in NY). Since not all facilities that qualify among the most poorly performing can be selected for the SFF Program, we recommend considering any facility with a one-star rating on Nursing Home Compare to be among the most poorly performing in the state.
The purpose of this alert is to provide the public with information on nursing homes in New York that show evidence of extremely poor performance in caring for their residents as determined by three factors: (1) Being a Special Focus Facility, (2) Being a Special Focus Facility candidate; and/or (3) Having one-star in the federal Five-Star Quality Rating System. SFF candidates are facilities that are, essentially, in the pool for possible selection as an SFF when a current SFF graduates or is terminated. The lists include the names and locations of these nursing homes.
Long Term Care Community Coalition
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