For the first time, the United States government has released reports regarding issues uncovered by nursing home investigators across the nation without redactions. The non-profit organization ProPublica reportedly obtained the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports through a Freedom of Information Act request. In order to protect the privacy of nursing home residents, patient and employee names are not included in the reports.
Previously, much of the information included in the unredacted Medicare and Medicaid reports was made available on ProPublica’s Nursing Home Inspect website. The tool reportedly allows website visitors to browse the more than 267,000 nursing home deficiencies documented across the nation over the last three years by keyword. Although the searchable Nursing Home Inspect tool currently only includes redacted care facility inspection reports, the complete and unredacted reports are now also available online. The unedited Medicare and Medicaid Services reports are grouped by region and may be downloaded from ProPublica’s website.
The additional information will reportedly make the reports more useful to those who seek to learn more about the quality of care provided at a particular skilled nursing facility. For example, the unredacted reports now include any diagnosed medical conditions, all pharmaceutical drugs administered to residents, and patient ages. Such information is useful because it allows consumers to see whether residents receive appropriate prescription medications based on their medical diagnosis. For example, patients who suffer from a dementia disorder should not be administered an anti-psychotic medication because the drugs reportedly do little to manage their behavior. The nation’s Food and Drug Administration also issued a warning about prescribing anti-psychotics to such patients because their use is purportedly associated with an increased mortality rate.
Most skilled nursing facilities in Illinois are certified to receive funds from Medicaid and Medicare programs. A certified nursing home is required to adhere to both state and federal regulations. Although the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act does not require long-term care facilities operating in the state to be certified, it requires all nursing homes to be licensed. The Illinois Department of Public Health regulates standards of care for all licensed nursing homes.
If you have concerns over the quality of care your loved one received at an Illinois nursing home, contact the diligent attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today. Our experienced Chicago Metro nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled friends and family members. For a free consultation with a quality attorney, do not hesitate to give Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596.
Recent Study Suggests For-Profit Nursing Homes in Illinois and Nationwide are More Likely to Overcharge Medicare While Neglecting Seniors, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2013
Researchers Claim Dementia Patients at Increased Risk of Death Following an Emergency Evacuation, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 13, 2013
Feds Release Nursing Home Inspections, Free of Censor’s Marks, by Charles Ornstein, propublica.org