Nursing home neglect and abuse can pose a major threat to the health and well-being of elderly or disabled residents in North Carolina. A report presented to the U.S. Senate in June revealed that the federal government knew that a number of nursing homes were severely troubled but did not release that information to the public. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, has come in for criticism due to allegations that it has not done enough to crack down or warn the public about nursing homes that could pose a danger to their loved ones, allowing them to continue to accept less-informed patients.
In April, the agency announced that it would conduct a thorough review of its practices toward nursing home regulation following a Government Accountability Office report saying that it needed to do more to improve nursing home regulations and federal oversight of investigations. It declared a five-point plan that would include higher oversight authority and greater enforcement of quality violations at homes. The federal agency also began requiring more details from nursing homes about whom they hire as well as strengthening the requirements. It also took greater note of care facilities with inadequate staffing numbers that could leave patients at risk of malnutrition or injuries.
CMS also announced that it plans to release a list of 400 nursing homes that have qualified for the Special Focus Facility program. These homes have not received additional federal scrutiny but have shown signs of seriously poor performance or nursing home neglect.
When people take their loved ones to a care facility, they are entrusting the home with their lives and health. People whose loved ones have fallen victim to nursing home abuse may consult with a personal injury lawyer about the actions they can take to pursue compensation for their damages.