The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, is a federal agency which, among other things, oversees assisted living facilities which are authorized to accept patients who have Medicaid or Medicare coverage.
One of CMS’s responsibilities is to make sure that these assisted living facilities provide safe and quality care to Medicaid and Medicare patients.
As such, they work with Alabama authorities to inspect these facilities to make sure they are meeting these insurance programs’ health and safety standards.
Nursing homes that fare poorly on inspections may enter a monitoring program
CMS has a program called the Special Focus Facility Program. The Program identifies assisted living facilities which have historically performed poorly in CMS inspections and investigations.
The official inspections may have uncovered a concerning number of violations which called for intervention. In other cases, severe violations or a track record of lingering health and safety issues can lead to a facility being designated a Special Focus Facility, or SFF.
Any facility which gets identified as a candidate for the Program may get selected for it. Once selected, the SFF must face an inspection every six months until it either stops accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients or shows enough improvement to graduate the Program.
As of November, one Alabama home in the Birmingham area is an SFF. There are several other candidates for the SFF program located throughout this state.
Violations of government safety rules may signal other issues with negligence
A facility which has violated government health and safety regulations, and even one that has been designated an SFF, has not necessarily abused or neglected a nursing home patient.
However, patients or their families should certainly pay careful attention to those nursing homes and facilities involved in the SFF Program. Their safety violations could show underlying pattern of negligence which could end up harming patients, even seriously.
Alabama families who suspect their loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect should carefully evaluate their legal options.