Capitol Correspondence - 06.10.19

U.S. Senators Casey and Toomey Release List of Troubled Nursing Homes

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ANCOR is sharing this article by the Associated Press (AP) because a fair amount of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities of all adult ages are provided services in nursing homes. While this article is more focused on the aging sector, ANCOR is also sharing it because it reflects a broader political environment in Congress, focused on oversight for federally-funded programs, including Medicaid. Medicaid funds the majority of disability supports in the U.S.  Last week Congress also sent a notice about the release of these lists to ANCOR as one of the premiere health associations on Capitol Hill.

As written by the AP:

“The federal government for years has kept under wraps the names of hundreds of nursing homes around the country found by inspectors to have serious ongoing health, safety or sanitary problems.

Nearly 400 facilities nationwide had a “persistent record of poor care” as of April, but they were not included along with a shorter list of homes that get increased federal scrutiny and do have warning labels, according to a Senate report released Monday.

Budget cuts appear to be contributing to the problem by reducing money available for the focused inspections that are required for nursing homes on the shorter list, according to documents and interviews.

The secrecy undermines the federal commitment to ensure transparency for families struggling to find nursing homes for loved ones and raises questions about why the names of some homes are not disclosed while others are publicly identified, according to two senators who released the report on Monday.

‘We’ve got to make sure any family member or any potential resident of a nursing home can get this information, not only ahead of time but on an ongoing basis,’ said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who along with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., issued the report.


The senators released a list provided them by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, of nursing homes with documented problems whose names were not publicly disclosed by the government.

About 1.3 million Americans are nursing home residents, cared for in more than 15,700 facilities. The senators’ report noted that problem nursing homes on both lists account for about 3 percent.

CMS does publicly disclose names of a smaller group of about 80 nursing homes that are getting special scrutiny to help them resolve documented quality problems. They’re in what’s called the Special Focus Facility program. Nursing homes that don’t improve can be cut off by Medicare and Medicaid.”

Note that Politico Pro has reported that CMS will begin publishing monthly updates to the aforementioned list of roughly 400 nursing homes. CMS has not stated when it would begin publishing the list.