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Poor Care Continues as a Michigan Nursing Home Spends Over a Year on Government Watch List

Despite being added to the Special Focus Facility (SFF) initiative over one year ago due to noted deficiencies in safety and quality of care, a Michigan Nursing Home has not shown any improvement.

CMS_logoThe Special Focus Facility initiative was introduced in 1998 by the  (CMS) to help address quality of care problems in nursing facilities. In order
to determine if nursing homes are providing the quality of care that Medicare and Medicaid requires, teams of individuals are sent out by CMS approximately one time per year to survey all Medicare and Medicaid funded nursing homes. When deficiencies are identified, CMS requires that these problems be corrected in a timely fashion. If serious problems are not corrected, a nursing home’s participation in Medicare and Medicaid could be terminated by CMS. Nursing facilities that are determined to have a greater number of quality problems, more serious problems than average, and a demonstrated pattern of quality problems are included in the Special Focus Facility initiative.

Mather Nursing Home in Ishpeming, Michigan, was named to the Special Focus Facility list 13 months ago. As an SSF facility, they are visited in person by inspection teams twice as frequently as other nursing homes (about twice per year). The longer they have problems, the more stringent the enforcement actions that can be taken. These could include “fines” or even survey picturetermination from Medicare and Medicaid. By 18-24 months, most SSF nursing homes are closer to either graduating (due to improvements) or ending their participation in Medicare and Medicaid. Even as Mather Nursing Home moves closer to the end of this time frame, they have shown no improvement.

For more information about the SSF initiative, for a full list of the Nursing Homes included on the list, and for instructions on how to use the information provided above, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/Downloads/SFFList.pdf