The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, is a federal agency which inspects assisted living facilities from time-to-time.
Their goal is to make sure that these nursing homes are providing appropriate care to patients, many if not most of whom are receiving Medicaid or Medicare benefits.
CMS administers a Special Focus Facility program to identify nursing homes which, based on inspection results, could stand for some improvement in their health and safety practices.
Usually, homes that are in the SFF program or which have been identified as candidates for the program have frequent violations noted on their inspections. Others have some more serious deficiencies, including problems which either did or could have hurt a patient.
Once in the SFF, a facility is subject to more frequent inspections and enforcement actions until they either improve or stop accepting Medicaid and Medicare patients.
Unfortunately, there is one Virginia facility in the SFF program currently, although this facility has shown some improvement recently. There are 4 other Virginia facilities that have been identified as candidates for the program.
Families should be vigilant about nursing home abuse and neglect
To be clear, the fact that a nursing home is on the SFF list does not mean that a patient actually was seriously injured. Likewise, homes that are not on the list are not automatically safe from serious lapses in medical care.
Danville families who have a loved one in a local assisted living facility or home should be on the lookout for signs of poor medical care or negligence. If they suspect neglect or abuse, they should know that they may be able to pursue legal remedies on behalf of their injured loved ones.