Senators released a list of 400 nursing homes with a ‘persistent record of poor care,’ according to the federal legislators. These nursing homes are not included in the federal government’s “special focus facilities” a list of nursing homes released by the government each year indicating poor care and unsafe conditions. According to the Senators, the list of 400 facilities is “virtually indistinguishable” from special focus facilities and the elder care facilities are not all lumped together only because a 2014 law imposed a cap on the number of so-called special focus facilities. Consequently, this left 400 facilities subject to heightened government scrutiny without public knowledge.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.3 million Americans are nursing home residents at 15,600 facilities across the country. The federal government identified 3 percent of these nursing homes as problematic in April. In New York, these nursing homes include New Roc Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rochester, The Knolls in Valhalla, and Cayuga Ridge Extended Care in Ithaca, according to LoHud.com. In addition to these nursing homes, fourteen other New York long-term care facilities were included in the list of 400 released by the Senate.
While the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) declined to release the list, federal legislators had no qualms about alerting the public of nursing homes that could endanger their loved ones. “When a family makes the hard decision to seek nursing home services for a loved one, they deserve to know if a facility under consideration suffers from systematic shortcomings,” Sen. Bob Casey told the Associated Press. According to Sen. Casey, there is no logical reason that the number of special focus facilities should be capped – currently, the cap is 88 nursing homes. This arbitrary limit prevents the public from gauging the quality of each nursing home and prevents the federal government from expending the necessary resources to monitor and help fix the problems at nursing homes with a record of poor care.
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