Richmond Pines nursing home in Hamlet, North Carolina was ranked by Medicare as the worst nursing home in North Carolina as of September 1, 2018, based on the ranking system for The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Due to serious deficiencies that have the potential for hurting patients, the facility was placed on CMS' Special Focus Facilities List, which means it has a limited amount of time to improve its quality of care before CMS imposes serious consequences, such as terminating the nursing home from participating in Medicare and Medicaid permanently. As a result of an inspection that found one patient outside unaccompanied, and another trapped between the mattress and footboard of a bed, the facility has already been terminated from reimbursements from Medicare and Medicare.
Nursing homes have the responsibility to protect their residents and promote their well being and dignity. Unfortunately, though, sometimes nursing homes violate residents' rights. Sometimes residents and their families are unaware of their rights, and nursing homes are not held accountable. Do you know your rights?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has a program called the Special Focus Facility (SFF) Initiative, whereby nursing homes that have a history of serious quality problems are on their SFF list in order to stimulate improvements in their quality of care. If the facility makes significant and sustained improvement in quality of care, it may be eligible to graduate from the list. If the facility fails to make significant improvements, it remains on the list until CMS either grants it an extension of time to improve, or terminates it from participating in Medicare and Medicaid, which generally leads to the facility shutting down due to lack of funding. Facilities that are placed on the Special Focus Facility List are generally considered to provide very poor care. There are two facilities in Tennessee that are considered Special Focus Facilities.
Some North Carolina residents may be concerned about the quality of care that their loved ones are receiving in nursing homes. The unfortunate truth is that not all nursing homes are providing the level of care that should be expected. The Inspector General notes that about a third of residents in nursing homes have experienced harm. That harm was preventable in more than half of the cases.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created the five-star quality rating system as a resource to help individuals, families, and caregivers find out more information about nursing homes (skilled nursing facilities) that participate in Medicare or Medicaid. The rating system helps to provide an easy-to-understand summary of three aspects of nursing home quality: health inspection results, staffing data, and quality measure data. Using this information, along with further research, can help individuals and families differentiate between high-performing and low-performing nursing homes.
Millions of North Carolina residents rely on pharmacists to dispense prescribed medicine and to offer assist patients in using their medications safely. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology indicated that approximately 21 percent of medication errors that cause injury to patients are attributed to dispensing errors that occur at the pharmacy. These errors are common; however, there are multiple measures that pharmacists and patients can exercise to prevent these potentially costly mistakes.