Nursing Home Watch List

Senator Charles Grassley is proposing a new “watch list” for nursing homes that aren’t meeting federal health and safety standards. “That would include nursing homes that yo-yo in and out of compliance by using grace periods to correct deficiencies, but only then on a temporary basis,” Grassley says. The public would be better able to judge whether a nursing home is the right place for their loves one if a “watch list” disclosed which homes aren’t up to snuff, according to Grassley. Sanctions against nursing homes are often withdrawn before they go into effect because the homes are given time to correct deficiencies, according to Grassley, so the public often never knows of serious health and safety violations.

One of the myths I covered in my book was the perception that nursing homes were rampant with abuse. In actuality, when I looked at the existing watch list, about ten percent of homes were on the list. Of that, half had been on the list since its inception and another forty percent had already been on the list three to four times.

Point is that there are good and bad homes but the majority, if you go by a watch list alone, are in compliance. Do your homework as always. Pay attention to these watch lists and other statistics but don’t forget to talk to others who have been through it. As to those on the list repeatedly well perhaps they should be prohibited from operating or be operated by new management.