A recent article published by the Associated Press details the findings of a report released on February 28, 2013 by the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general entitled, Skilled Nursing Facilities Often Fail to Meet Care Planning and Dicharge Planning Requirements. The article relates that one out of three nursing home residents were placed in facilities that failed to follow basic care standards laid out by the federal agency that administers Medicare. According to the article, not only are residents often going without the crucial help they need, but taxpayer money could be going to facilities that endanger residents' health.
The Office of Inspector General's report was based on medical records from 190 patient visits to nursing homes in 42 states that lasted at least three weeks - the sample represents about 1.1 million patient visits to nursing homes nationwide in 2009, the most recent year for which data was available. The AP article relates that overall, the review raises questions about whether the long-term care system is allowing homes to get paid for poor quality services that may be harming residents, and recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services tie payments to homes' abilities to meet basic care requirements. The report also recommended that the agency strengthen its regulations and increase its oversight. The review did not name individual homes, nor did it estimate the number of patients who had been mistreated, but instead looked at the overall number of stays in which problems arose.
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