Over 90% of all nursing homes have Deficiencies

The vast majority of nursing homes in this country accept Medicare/Medicaid payment. When accepting reimbursement from the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a nursing home is bound to CMS rules along with federal and relevant state regulations. According to federal regulations, a deficiency is a nursing home facility’s failure to meet participation requirements in the Act or in 42 CFR 483.

But guess what? A 2008 federal report that came out of the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that no less than 91% of 15,000 nursing homes that were included in the survey had seven deficiencies on average. Sadly, Washington State has one of the highest numbers for reported deficiencies in the country.  In 2010, a whopping 97.8% of Washington nursing homes were reported with deficiencies.  No wonder lawyers for nursing home abuse are sought after.

There are many reasons why the number is so high, despite the fact that  CMS and state health care agencies impose layers of rules and standards on nursing homes. One reason is that enforcement is difficult. The burden of enforcement is on the state. These days, most states cannot audit and investigate all the complaints. Even when a facility is found noncompliant, the penalties are relatively low and difficult to collect.  Only in the most egregious cases does does a nursing home get shut down.

This information and future posts that appear in this blog is intended to inform those who are concerned about the quality of care at a specific facility. Stay alert to signs of abuse because they are not always obvious. We will discuss much more about the different types of elder abuse.

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