General Interest Skilled Nursing

Senators Casey & Toomey Release Report on Nursing Homes

The Senators from Pennsylvania, Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) have jointly authored a report entitled, “Families’ and Residents’ Right to Know: Uncovering Poor Care in America’s Nursing Homes.”

Senators Casey and Toomey report on America’s nursing homes (April 2019).

The report outlines the background of “Special Focus Facilities” (SFF) and the availability of information on facilities under this status on the Nursing Home Compare website. Additionally, CMS has released in April 2019 a “candidates” list of facilities that may fall into the Special Focus category if improvements are not made.

The findings of the Senators’ inquiry were the following:

  • “A nursing home’s participation in the SFF program is not readily transparent or easily understood among would-be residents and their families.
  • Candidates for the SFF program are not disclosed to the public and these facilities do not receive any additional oversight.”

The report and the full listing of the SFF candidates list can be found here.

LeadingAge’s issued the following response to the report:

“LeadingAge, whose members include nearly 2000 nonprofit skilled nursing providers nationwide, stands for quality nursing home care,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge. “Our goal is for every nursing home in the country to be a place where any of us would be willing to live or have a family member stay if we needed the level of care nursing homes provide. We support efforts to increase ease of access to and transparency around information regarding care of older adults; we believe that consumers should have as much information as possible on any provider they are considering for care. It is important to note that some providers on the Special Focus Facilities list do improve to such as extent that they are removed and become quality performers. LeadingAge believes the best way to promote improvement is to increase attention on and enforcement of care standards on the nursing homes that need it most — those that do not meet card standards under OBRA.”