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Nursing home violations now reported this online website

People in New Mexico who are researching nursing homes for their loved ones will soon have an easier way to learn about violations related to abuse, neglect or exploitation. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is in the process of updating Nursing Home Compare's website to include an icon next to facilities with reported violations. This website tracks performance for all U.S. nursing homes certified to collect Medicare or Medicaid benefits.

The new icons will allow people to notice right away if a facility has had reports filed against it. Previously, the reports were buried within the website and difficult for visitors to find. Clicking on the new icons will take visitors directly to reports of abuse that harmed residents within the past year. Reports about potentially harmful incidents going back two years will also appear after clicking the icon. The agency will add new information every month.

The website update represents part of the agency's ongoing effort to help people evaluate the quality of nursing homes. In April, CMS started an initiative to address problems within nursing homes caused by staffing shortages and growing expenses. The agency also plans to improve the measurement of facility quality and make it easier to report problems.

A person concerned about the treatment of a loved one might struggle to get timely action from regulators or law enforcement. The representation of an attorney might allow someone to remove a resident from an abusive situation or hold a facility accountable for personal injury. A lawyer might assemble the evidence necessary for a lawsuit and inform the person about the types of damages that the law might authorize within a settlement.

Source: Modern Healthcare, "CMS bringing transparency to nursing home abuse," Michael Brady, Oct. 7, 2019

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