According to the federal government’s Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, a Maryland nursing home was recently designated a Special Focus Facility, or SFF.
On the most recent list, CMS ALSO noted that another Maryland facility had recently graduated the SFF program. CMS considers a handful of other Maryland homes candidates for the program and stated as much on its list.
The Special Focus Facility program identifies nursing homes with quality issues
CMS helps oversee nursing homes in order to make sure that they are providing quality care to Medicaid and Medicare patients.
Because most nursing homes accept and even rely on these patients for their income, CMS and state regulators come into contact with most Maryland care facilities via their inspections and responses to customer complaints.
An SFF home is one identified and placed on a performance improvement program because of a poor track record. While an SFF, the home must submit to additional inspections from CMS and is expected to show improvements in the care they are providing their patients.
Most homes eventually graduate the program, although some wind up no longer accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients.
The homes’ poor track record can include a significantly higher volume of deficiencies, that is, violations of government health and safety standards. It can also include a record of more serious issues, such as deficiencies which involved injuries to patients.
The fact that a home is a Special Focus Facility does not mean that a person’s loved one will automatically suffer from abuse or neglect. However, families should monitor their loved one’s care diligently and not hesitate to ask questions or raise concerns.
If the nursing home does injure its patients by persisting in providing substandard care, then victims and their families may be able to receive compensation for their losses.