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4 Nursing Home Red Flags: Avoid Problem Nursing Homes

Family members who are selecting a nursing home often don’t understand how to identify problem nursing homes. Most nursing homes have a polished, professional website and boast top-level care. But quality can vary greatly among nursing homes, and it can be difficult to distinguish nursing homes that fail in providing adequate care. This article will help you identify some nursing home red flags that a family may want to avoid when searching for a nursing home.

Special Focus Facilities (SFF)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and state agencies that inspect nursing homes provide oversight to determine if the home is providing quality care that protects residents’ health and safety. CMS identifies a list of problem nursing homes that have a history of serious quality issues that require substantial improvements to meet the requirements of the Medicare program. From this list, CMS enrolls underperforming nursing homes into the Special Focus Program as a Special Focus Facility.

Nursing homes who are selected for the Special Focus Program demonstrate a greater number of deficiencies, more serious deficiencies, and a pattern of problems. These problems are based on the facility’s health and safety inspection deficiencies over a three-year period. Nursing homes that qualify based on their pattern of deficiencies are deemed Special Focus Facility (SFF) Candidates. A fraction of these SFF Candidates is then selected as Special Focus Facilities and subject to a rigorous quality review.

CMS requires Special Focus Facilities to undergo a full, onsite inspections every 6 months until they graduate out of the program through improvement. If a facility cannot improvement, they eventually may be terminated from participation in the Medicare and Medicaid program.

As of March 30, 2022, the following Pennsylvania nursing homes were identified as candidates or participants in the Special Focus Program. Please keep in mind that this list is updated regularly. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service maintain a dataset for that includes information on Special Focus Facilities.

Provider Name City Special Focus Status
BALDWIN HEALTH CENTER PITTSBURGH SFF Candidate
BRIGHTON REHABILITATION AND WELLNESS CENTER BEAVER SFF
CAMBRIA CARE CENTER EBENSBURG SFF Candidate
CHESTNUT HILL LODGE HEALTH AND REHAB CTR WYNDMOOR SFF Candidate
EPWORTH HEALTHCARE AND REHABILITATION CENTER TYRONE SFF Candidate
GARDENS AT BLUE RIDGE, THE HARRISBURG SFF Candidate
GARDENS AT CAMP HILL, THE CAMP HILL SFF Candidate
GARDENS AT SCRANTON, THE SCRANTON SFF Candidate
GARDENS AT WYOMING VALLEY, THE WILKES BARRE SFF Candidate
GLEN BROOK REHABILITATION AND HEALTHCARE CENTER BERWICK SFF
GREENSBURG CARE CENTER GREENSBURG SFF Candidate
GROVE AT NORTH HUNTINGDON, THE NORTH HUNTINGDON SFF Candidate
KADIMA REHABILITATION & NURSING AT LUZERNE DRUMS SFF Candidate
KINGSTON REHABILITATION AND NURSING CENTER KINGSTON SFF Candidate
LAURELWOOD CARE CENTER JOHNSTOWN SFF
PARKHOUSE REHABILITATION AND NURSING CENTER ROYERSFORD SFF Candidate
PLEASANT ACRES REHABILITATION AND NURSING CENTER YORK SFF Candidate
RESTORE HEALTH AT UNIVERSITY CITY PHILADELPHIA SFF Candidate
RIDGEVIEW HEALTHCARE & REHAB CENTER SHENANDOAH SFF Candidate
ROSE CITY NURSING AND REHAB AT LANCASTER LANCASTER SFF Candidate
ROSEMONT CENTER ROSEMONT SFF Candidate
SPRING CREEK REHABILITATION AND NURSING CENTER HARRISBURG SFF Candidate
SQUIRREL HILL WELLNESS AND REHABILITATION CENTER PITTSBURGH SFF
TOWNE MANOR WEST NORRISTOWN SFF Candidate

 

If you are considering admission to a Special Focus Program nursing facility, you should closely review the nursing home’s staffing, health and safety inspections, and quality measures on Nursing Home Compare.

 

High Staff Turnover

High turnover of nursing home staff can be an indicator of serious problems within the nursing home. CMS has recently begun publishing turnover numbers of nursing home administrators and nursing staff on Nursing Home Compare. Higher turnover is often associated with less continuity of care.  Facilities with higher administrator turnover may experience leadership instability and operational inefficiencies. CMS has chosen to publish this information because high staff turnover can have a direct impact on resident care outcomes. Families should consider high staff turnover as a red flag of nursing homes to avoid.

 

Understaffing

Understaffing at a nursing home is another red flag of problem nursing homes. Quality measures such as pressure ulcers and falls have a close association with the staffing patterns of the facility. Nursing homes that understaff frequently have poorer quality measures and outcomes than comparable facilities with appropriate staffing patterns.

In January, the Nursing Home Compare website expanded its staffing level rating to include data about weekend staffing for nurses, including RNs, LPNs, and CNAs. Families should scrutinize the facility’s staffing information and compare it to state and national averages. Large variations in staffing patterns on weekends could indicate a red flag about care levels that diminish during off-hours.

 

Abuse Icon

Families using the Nursing Home Compare website should review nursing homes for the Abuse Icon. This red icon with a hand indicating “stop” identifies that an abuse, neglect, or exploitation deficiency has been leveraged against the facility within the past year, or twice within the past two years.

These deficiencies are serious in that they either resulted in harm, or potentially could have resulted in harm. This icon will remain on the facility’s Nursing Home Compare rating until the facility corrects its deficiencies and has no further deficiencies for an entire year.

Families who are evaluating a nursing home should consider if this Abuse Icon might indicate a problem nursing home. This icon should spur a family to discuss their concerns with the Nursing Home Administrator. It’s important for families to gain an understanding of why the icon is associated with the nursing home and learn if actions have been taken to correct the findings of abuse.

The below list outlines Pennsylvania nursing homes with Abuse Icons as of March 30, 2022. Please keep in mind that this list is updated regularly. Consult CMS Nursing Home Compare for the most updated information.

Provider Name Provider City Abuse Icon
ASBURY HEALTH CENTER PITTSBURGH Y
BARNES-KASSON COUNTY HOSPITAL SUSQUEHANNA Y
BROOKSIDE HEALTHCARE & REHABILITATION CENTER ROSLYN Y
COLONIAL PARK CARE CENTER HARRISBURG Y
CROSS KEYS VILLAGE-BRETHREN HOME COMMUNITY, THE NEW OXFORD Y
GINO J MERLI VETERANS CENTER SCRANTON Y
GROVE AT NEW WILMINGTON, THE NEW WILMINGTON Y
GUARDIAN HEALTHCARE AT TAYLOR TAYLOR Y
HARMAR VILLAGE CARE CENTER CHESWICK Y
HOMESTEAD VILLAGE, INC LANCASTER Y
MANOR AT PENN VILLAGE, THE SELINSGROVE Y
MARKLEY REHABILITATION AND HEALTHCARE CENTER NORRISTOWN Y
NORRITON SQUARE NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER NORRISTOWN Y
PLEASANT ACRES REHABILITATION AND NURSING CENTER YORK Y
PROMEDICA SKILLED NRSG AND REHAB (YORK NORTH) YORK Y
PROVIDENCE POINT HEALTHCARE RESIDENCE PITTSBURGH Y
ROLLING MEADOWS HEALTH CARE CENTER WAYNESBURG Y
ROSEMONT CENTER ROSEMONT Y
SAINT MARY’S VILLA NURSING HOM MOSCOW Y
SARAH REED SENIOR LIVING ERIE Y
SHOOK HOME THE CHAMBERSBURG Y
SPRINGFIELD REHABILITATION AND HEALTHCARE  CENTER SPRINGFIELD Y
ST JOHN SPECIALTY CARE CENTER MARS Y
YORKVIEW NURSING AND REHABILITATION YORK Y

 

Contact the Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm Today!

Nursing home neglect lawyers at our law firm are all too familiar with the red flags associated with problem nursing homes. If your loved one experienced a serious injury due to nursing home neglect or abuse, you should seek out an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer. Our lawyers hold nursing homes accountable for care issues and seek compensation for preventable injuries caused by nursing home neglect or abuse. Call 215-666-7777 today, or send us a message via the online form on this website to speak directly with an attorney.


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