CMS is increasing oversight of poorest-performing nursing homes

CMS is increasing oversight and scrutiny of the nation's poorest-performing nursing homes with updates to its Special Focus Facilities program.

The SFF program now includes tougher requirements, increased enforcement actions and incentives for sustainable improvements. Facilities that do not improve can have their federal funding terminated, according to an Oct. 21 release shared with Becker's.

CMS is also advising state survey agencies to consider a facility's staffing level and compliance history when selecting candidates for the SFF program.

The updated program is designed to incentivise facilities to improve quality and safety performance quickly, while also allowing more facilities to go through the program more quickly. The updates should also prevent regression post-program, according to the release.

"People in this country's nursing homes deserve access to safe and high-quality care, and facilities that aren't providing that level of service need to improve their performance or face the consequences," CMS administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in the release. "Poor-performing nursing homes have the opportunity to improve, but if they fail to do so, the changes we are making to CMS' Special Focus Facilities Program will hold these facilities accountable for the health and safety of their residents."

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