If you or a loved one is in a nursing home in New York that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding, it must pass surveys and inspections by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approximately once each year. According to CMS, a facility that has significant deficiencies may not automatically be penalized or closed, but it would probably be enrolled in a Special Focus Facility program if there is a history of poor performance.
The past record of resident harm in your facility is one of the primary factors taken into consideration. If there are deficiencies involving the threat of harm, six months is given to correct the issues. However, only 23 days are allowed for remedying any situation involving immediate jeopardy. CMS has the authority to close any facility that does not address and correct the deficiencies within the time limit. Other measures that may be enforced include fines, withdrawing of funding or even agency-approved temporary management.
If your nursing home is in the program, it will be inspected at least once every six months, and to be removed from the SFF list, the facility must not have deficiencies that could lead to patient harm in two consecutive surveys. On average, nursing homes remain on the list about 18 months. The names of the facilities are published on a list when they have already had an opportunity to correct the deficiencies but were not successful. Once your nursing home has made corrections, it is taken off the list, even if it has not completed the final required survey and graduated from the program.
This information about the SFF program and nursing home deficiencies is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.