Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities could face serious sanctions if they are not compliant with all applicable federal regulations. These sanctions are especially serious if they fail to act after receiving a citation, or they have a history of noncompliance.
In most cases, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)—the agency that oversees compliance in nursing homes that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments—takes steps to force the facility to comply before they impose any sanction that would directly affect current residents. If the noncompliance is serious enough and puts residents at risk, the CMS can impose immediate sanctions.
Noncompliant Nursing Homes Could Face CMS Sanctions
CMS inspects nursing homes that accept Medicaid and Medicare payments and ensures that they meet all applicable federal regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations could mean facing sanctions from CMS and state agencies.
CMS sanctions can vary depending on the severity and nature of the noncompliance, the facility’s history of similar behavior, and other factors. Those that put resident safety at risk and those who regularly fail inspections and are found noncompliant with federal requirements will likely face the most serious sanctions.
Some possible sanctions include:
- Additional training for staff members.
- Creating a directed plan to correct the noncompliance.
- Installing temporary facility managers for oversight.
- Stopping payments for new residents who use Medicare or Medicaid.
- Removing the facility from the Medicare and Medicaid program.
A nursing home is not removed from the Medicare and Medicaid program after the first sanction following the discovery of a problem, although it is possible to be removed following a failed opportunity to remedy a serious problem. Removal from the Medicare and Medicaid program would mean the nursing home could no longer accept residents who use these types of coverage. This is one of the consequences when a nursing home is found noncompliant with federal requirements.
Noncompliance With a Federal Requirement Could Be Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
Most federal nursing home regulations are in place to prevent residents from suffering preventable harm. If the facility’s noncompliance caused you to suffer injuries, you may have a valid nursing home abuse and neglect case.
Federal regulations require nursing homes to:
- Provide the support and help residents need for self-care, including daily grooming, bathing, and other hygienic tasks.
- Help a patient remain mobile, communicative, and care for themselves as long as possible.
- Ensure residents have glasses and hearing aids.
- Have a plan in place to prevent pressure sores, bedsores, and related infections.
- Have adequate staff, both in number and training.
- Take steps to prevent falls, including adequate supervision of residents.
- Provide proper nutrition and water to avoid dehydration and malnutrition.
- Provide all prescribed medications and the necessary medical attention to each resident at all times.
- Provide a safe and comfortable environment for all residents, including maintaining proper temperatures.
Nursing home residents also have a bill of rights to ensure they receive the courtesy, dignity, and respect they deserve.
Many Nursing Homes Are Not Compliant with the New Emergency Preparedness Rules
In 2016, CMS mandated certain emergency preparedness standards for all facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid payments. These standards include having a clear plan in place, testing staff to ensure they understand the plan, and taking other steps to ensure the plan works properly in the event of a natural disaster or another emergency.
Officials from CSM told the New York Times that almost 25% of nursing homes surveyed since these laws went into place were noncompliant. They received citations for shortcomings that included lack of training, no testing, and other issues.
Some Residents May Have Suffered Injuries Related to the Noncompliance
If your nursing home was found noncompliant with federal regulations, and you believe this noncompliance caused your injuries or illness, you may have grounds to pursue a nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit. If the administrators of a nursing home caused residents to suffer injuries, pain and suffering, and financial losses, the nursing home administration and others responsible should be liable to cover the related costs.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a nursing home because of compliance issues, abuse, or neglect, you may be able to take legal action to recover compensation for medical care, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, or other losses. You have a limited time to act, so do not wait.
Talk to a Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney
The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will review the facts of your case for free. If we believe you have grounds to take legal action, we will handle your case on a contingency-fee-basis. You owe no attorney’s fees until we receive compensation in your case, and we do not shy away from tough cases.
Call (800) 842-6336 now to get started with a free consultation.