Feds Release 2016-17 Nursing Home Action Plan

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its annual 2016-17 Nursing Home Action Plan, which focuses on improving safety and quality in the nursing home industry. The majority of the plan centers on increasing consumer awareness and assistance in navigating the nursing home care for a loved one. The CMS website now will provide improved staffing data for facilities, drawing from the payroll-based staffing data submitted by facilities, which became mandatory on July 1, 2016.

CMS intends to finalize the eligibility requirements for nursing home participants by September of this year. A portion of these revised regulations includes streamlining of the complaint process and modifying the survey methodology in order to ensure more guidance and training for surveyors. The plan proposes an additional appropriate of $50 million in order to revamp the survey system.

From an enforcement perspective, CMS will work to achieve transparency and consistency in enforcement actions by partnering with more regional, state, and federal agencies, associations, and consumer advocate groups. Those nursing homes that consistently perform poorly will be designated “special focus facilities,” which will be subject to pilot programs designed to more consistently monitor these facilities.

Finally, the 2016-17 Action Plan aspires to address several different areas of quality improvement, including the reduction of antipsychotic medication usage, physical restraints, and chemical restraints. These are only a few of the much-needed improvements that are necessary to raise the quality of care offered in nursing homes nationwide.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured as a result of negligence by a nursing home or its staff, or your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to the negligent behavior of nursing home staff, you may be entitled to compensation. This inquiry involves determining which party or entity was at fault for the incident that led to your, acted negligently, or otherwise caused the situation that led to injuries or death of a loved one. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison elder abuse attorneys can help you with these determinations, and support you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have.