The nation’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will reportedly post additional information regarding deficiencies observed at nursing homes in Illinois and throughout the country. In July 2012, the Agency began publishing deficiency data for the previous 15 months on its Nursing Home Compare website. The information is also apparently published on a Five-Star Nursing Home Quality Rating System website. The information contained on the two websites was reportedly taken from federal reports created by nursing home investigators as well as complaint surveys.
According to a memorandum written by Thomas E. Hamilton, Director of the CMS Survey and Certification Group, deficiency report data will be available to the public for a longer duration beginning in April. In addition, Hamilton stated more detailed information will be provided regarding the conditions at each facility and the severity of each violation an institution allegedly committed. Hamilton said although the agency will not post nursing home plans of correction online, the data should be easy for consumers to locate, as each state is already charged with this task. Federal law also requires that state inspection agencies and skilled nursing facilities provide such information to the public upon request.
Most nursing homes located in Illinois are under contract to receive Medicare and Medicaid funds. This means employees at such institutions must adhere to both state and federal laws. This also means the facility is subject to inspection using federal CMS guidelines. Although most nursing homes in our state provide quality patient care, there is always room for improvement.
There are currently a number of online databases that make it possible for the public to review skilled nursing facility inspection information. Regrettably, the potential for long-term care facility abuse and neglect is not always easy to identify using an inspection report. It is always a good idea for family members to visit regularly and closely monitor the quality of care a loved one receives while in a nursing home.
When an elderly or disabled long-term care facility patient is experiencing mistreatment at the hands of a caregiver, he or she may become depressed and attempt to alert relatives to the situation. Telltale signs of physical abuse include broken bones, bedsores, unexplained bruises, and an increased number of falls or other avoidable accidents. All suspected cases of skilled nursing facility abuse or neglect should be taken seriously and reported straightaway. Contact a caring nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to assist you.