Written by Kara Morris
MONDAY, Oct 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — About 88 nursing homes in the United States are on an alarming care watch list that puts residents at risk, but now they will face tougher penalties for any future violation.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said Friday that these tougher penalties could include the loss of federal funding if they are exposed to more than one serious breach.
The new sanctions will apply to less than 0.5% of US nursing homes already classified as a “special focus facility” due to a previous violation.
“Let us be clear: We are taking drastic measures on enforcement of the poorest nursing homes in our country,” Health Minister Xavier Becerra said in a statement announcing the tightening of sanctions.
The current watch list already requires the US Centers for Medicaid and Medicare to do more monitoring at these facilities.
Nursing homes with more than one violation will also be monitored for at least three years. Staffing levels will be among the considerations for adding a facility to the watch list.
The American Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services may implement staffing ratio requirements; She is studying the issue now.
President Joe Biden promised earlier this year to reform the nation’s nursing home system.
The population has been particularly affected by the epidemic that has killed more than 200,000 residents and employees. The Associated Press reports that about 1 million people live in these homes, some of whom are underserved and understaffed.
The Biden administration also plans to award $80 million in grants to health care organizations, trade groups and labor unions to train and hire nursing staff. The Associated Press reports that grant applications are due by January 6.