According to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, the state agencies responsible for assessing whether or not nursing homes are compliant with quality standards continue to miss serious deficiencies in homes throughout the country. The report released by Senators Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin) brings to light a major disparity between the reports conducted by federal investigators and state examiners.
The federal surveys, which are used to monitor state reports, noted that the failure of state inspectors to notice deficiencies in homes is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and fixed immediately. Though the gap between federal and state inspections is closing (from 14.7% in 2007 to 12.3% in 2008), the Senators believe the rate at which the gap is closing is not quick enough in order to prevent serious harm to residents.
Additionally, the number of federal surveys that caught a lower-level care deficiency, which was initially missed by a state inspection, grew dramatically from 55% in 2001 to 75% in 2008. Once again, the reports show that federal inspectors are detecting problems which state inspectors have missed. The Senators hope that this report will urge Congress to do more in order to improve the survey system, increase funding and standardize the survey process.