State surveys of nursing homes refer to visits by official representatives of the state based upon either annual schedules or complaint investigations. During the survey, officials observe everything, including the nursing home’s systems, processes, staff, finances, and more.
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid must undergo an annual survey and certification of their facility under federal law. However, surveys may also result from claims of elder abuse or neglect in nursing homes.
In either circumstance, these visits aim to determine compliance with both federal and state laws. Nursing home regulations require certain standards, and if the nursing home violates these standards, federal law enforcement may deny payment for any new resident admissions, revoke Medicaid and Medicare certifications, transfer residents, or impose temporary management until the issues resolve. The state survey expects any nursing home participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs to remain in compliance with all legal requirements. The survey intends for any deficiency or issue to resolve quickly after identification.
If a state survey finds deficiencies in the nursing home due to failure to meet certain federal regulations, records of the deficiencies appear in the survey report. The survey team determines the severity of the deficiency, if it harmed patients, and if it existed as an isolated incident or if it represents a widespread pattern.
Nursing Home Inspection Process
The nursing home survey will be unannounced. Prior to the survey, the survey team may review the nursing home facility’s prior compliance history and any complaints filed.
The survey team evaluates fire and safety policies, distribution of medications, patient care, nursing home records, dietary practices in the nursing home, and more.
The team may also interview residents, staff, or other appropriate individuals. They may also evaluate the quality of resident care by analyzing the data reported by the nursing home itself or by examining other notices filed with state agencies. This lengthy and thorough process aims to ensure that residents are safe and healthy.
Deficiencies in Nursing Homes
If state surveys discover deficiencies, inspectors may cite that nursing home facility with noncompliance with either federal or state regulations. Every federal deficiency classifies according to scope and severity. Scope references the extent of the deficiency and the number of elderly residents affected. Severity describes the level of harm regarding the deficiency.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
If your elderly loved one resides in a nursing home, you can examine their annual state survey to determine if the state cited any deficiencies. If you suspect your elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home, you have a right to contact the appropriate agencies, including law enforcement or the agency in your state that oversees nursing homes.
Nursing homes must post the name, address, and phone number of organizations in your state, such as the survey agency, licensure office, ombudsman, or other protection or advocacy agencies. You can also contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help with civil claims resulting from nursing home abuse or neglect.
Contact a Nursing Home Lawyer
Obtaining legal representation may help you recover awards for any harm caused by neglect or abuse. If you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 for help you with your next steps.