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Brooks Schuelke
Brooks Schuelke
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Worst Nursing Homes in the US

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Yesterday, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released, for the first time, a list of the worst nursing homes in America. According to CMS:

Release of the list was prompted by the number of facilities that were consistently providing poor quality of care, yet were periodically instituting enough improvement that they would pass one survey only to fail the next (for many of the same problems as before). Such facilities with a “yo-yo” compliance history rarely addressed underlying systemic problems that were giving rise to repeated cycles of serious deficiencies.

Amazingly, only one Texas nursing home was on the list. But that doesn’t mean that those of us in Texas are out of the woods. A number of Texas nursing homes have been cited for various problems. Lists of alleged problem nursing homes are available throughout the internet.
So what is a consumer to do? CMS has the following advice for those seeking nursing home care:

- Visit the nursing home. Talk to staff, residents, and other families. Request to see the results from the last state or CMS survey.
- Prior to a visit, review the survey history of the nursing home on Nursing Home Compare to better understand any areas that may be problematic.
- Ask the nursing home staff what they are doing to improve the quality of care for residents in the nursing home.
- Call the state survey agency to learn more about the nursing home. If the facility is in the special focus initiative, find out how long it has participated. Facilities in the program for 18-24 months are either close to “graduating” because of significant improvements to care, or ending their participation in Medicare and Medicaid.
- Call your local state nursing home ombudsman, Administration on Aging, and local groups to learn more about the nursing home.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Nursing Home and Elder Abuse.