Troubled nursing homes are graded and placed on lists at both the state and federal levels. In Florida, we have the Agency for Healthcare Administration’s “Nursing Home Watch List.” At the federal level, Medicare shines a light on “special” nursing homes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published its “Special Focus Facility List” of problem-plagued nursing homes. No nursing homes in Sarasota County or Charlotte County made the list; however, Citrus Gardens of Fort Myers was the closest area nursing home to be included and designated as a special focus facility. Of note, a few large nursing home corporations that operate in Florida had facilities named to the list. Those large chains included: HCR Manor Care, Life Care Centers of America, and Brookdale Senior Living.
Even though state and federal governments continue to punish nursing homes for poor care, abuse and neglect, the imposition of fines is insignificant, and barely amounts to a slap on the wrist, when compared to the billions of dollars in annual revenue generated by the top fifty largest nursing home chains. It is extremely important to remember that when placing a loved one in a nursing home, be sure to first visit the facility firsthand and check out their recent inspection results and surveys online at the Florida Nursing Home Guide:
When finally sitting down to sign the admissions paperwork, be sure to cross out and DO NOT SIGN any document which contains the words “Arbitration” or “Voluntary Arbitration Agreement.” Nursing homes use arbitration to insulate themselves from liability and damages. Agreeing to arbitrate may very well offer a free pass to the nursing home to provide substandard care. If you suspect that a friend or family member has become the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please call me, Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer James Keim, for a free, confidential consultation at (941) 485-7600.