As has been reported by many sources, The Des Moines Register is reporting that nursing homes throughout the country are eligible for hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bonuses despite past violations of basic health-and-safety standards. A review of 81 bonus payment programs in 36 states shows that some homes are collecting quality-of-care bonuses approved by the same federal agency that considers them to be below-average caregivers.
One OK home has earned almost $96,000 in bonuses during the past year and is considered a “five-star” nursing home by the state. But federal records show the home has been cited for more violations than the state and national averages. Also, Medicare itself ranks the home below average on 11 of 19 national quality measures.
So first, are you checking out nursing homes on CMS and state web sites? Second, ask the facility where mom and dad are staying if they are getting a bonus and what they plan to do with it to help residents.