Nursing home facilities in Georgia, and around the country, are evaluated on a routine basis by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as state agencies that regulate nursing homes. The purpose of the evaluations is to determine whether nursing homes are ensuring resident safety by complying with federal and state nursing-home care regulations. Nursing homes may only participate in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement programs when they are abiding by these regulations. When facilities perform poorly, they are closely watched by CMS. Those facilities that receive the worst evaluations and provide the poorest care to their residents are known as “Special Focus Facilities.” These nursing homes receive special attention from regulators and must show improvement in their quality of care or they will lose their Medicare and Medicaid funding. If you or a loved one require nursing home care, you should know which nursing homes are considered to be among the worst in the country. The most recent special focus facilities list is available here.
Currently, there are only a couple of Georgia nursing home facilities on the current list, including Pleasant View Nursing Center in Metter, and Chulio Hills Health and Rehab in Rome. They are both shown on the list as “facilities that have shown improvement” since first being named a special focus facility.
If you have a loved one staying at a nursing home that is a Special Focus Facility, or you are thinking of sending your loved one to one of these facilities, there are several things you may want to do to help ensure his or her safety and well-being:
- Potential nursing home residents and loved ones should visit the facility before applying for residence. An in-person visit gives you the opportunity to speak with current residents and their families and ask about problems inside the facility.
- Ask to see the most recent CMS or state survey.
- Review previous surveys and identify recurring problems.
- Determine how long the facility has been on the list.
- Talk to the staff to determine if they have taken any steps to improve the quality of care inside the facility.
However, the best advice is to avoid these nursing homes completely and find another that a higher rating and quality reputation. For tips on how to select a nursing home, questions to ask and how to recognize signs of abuse or neglect, go to the Nursing Home Resource Center page at www.sutherslaw.com. For a searchable list of nursing homes and their ratings, go to the Nursing Home Compare page on the CMS website.
Finally, if you believe a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact the experienced Nursing Home Attorneys at Suthers & Harper. Suthers & Harper, which practices throughout the States of Georgia and South Carolina, regularly represents victims who have been abused or neglected and their families in cases against nursing homes and assisted living facilities.