The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued their updated list of "Special Focus Facilities." This updated list now includes not only the "worst of the worst" but also identifies those facilities previously identified that have either shown improvements through two surveys (graduated) or have failed to show improvements. There is also a category for those in-process but not yet up-to-par.
Click here for the February 12, 2008 list (PDF).
The SFF initiative was created by CMS in 1998 in response to the number of facilities that were consistently providing poor quality of care. Those facilities were periodically instituting enough improvement so that they would pass one survey, only to fail the next (for many of the same problems as before). Facilities with this compliance history rarely addressed underlying systemic problems that were giving rise to repeated cycles of serious deficiencies.
Serious deficiencies include such things as failing to give residents their medications in the correct dose at the correct time, taking steps to prevent abuse or neglect, inappropriate use of restraints and failure to prevent or properly treat bed sores.Kerry Weems, CMS acting administrator commented on the CMS site, “This is the latest in a series of steps we will be taking to improve quality and oversight in nursing homes. We are issuing more information on special focus facilities to better equip beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to make informed decisions and stimulate robust improvements in nursing homes having not improved their quality of care.”
I bet you just checked the list to make sure you weren't on it.