After receiving tremendous pressure from advocacy groups, CMS has released its expanded list of the most troubled nursing homes in the country. These are known as "Special Focus Facilities."
Acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems disclosed at a special media briefing Thursday that the “Special Focus Facilities” list had actually grown to 131 nursing homes with poor survey records. The list will continually be in flux, noting the next public update will be in April.
In response to a McKnight’s reporter’s question, Weems also clarified that from now on providers would be given brief advance notice of their inclusion on the dubious list but no others would learn of list contents until results are refreshed online. When CMS went public for the first time ever, but with just the partial list, in November, consumer advocates loudly complained that nursing home lobbyists and associations had been given the full list, while the general public had not.
In New Jersey, there are currently only three facilities on the list. Two of these are listed under the category, "Improving," while the other, sadly, is now a veteran of the listing, in the list of "Facilities That Have Not Improved."
It will interesting to see if inclusion on this list will provide extra incentive for these troubled homes to improve the quality of care – and thus reduce the unacceptable quantity of nursing home injuries and abuse.