Increasingly, owners of nursing homes outsource services to companies in which they also have financial interest or control. That allows the nursing homes to claim to be in the red while owners reap hidden profits.
Medicare is discouraging regional offices from levying fines for “one-time mistakes” or from using daily fines that seek to put pressure on nursing homes to make changes.
A Kaiser Health News analysis of federal inspection records shows that nursing home inspectors labeled mistakes in infection control as serious for only 161 of the 12,056 homes they have cited since 2014.
Medicaid covers about two-thirds of nursing home residents, but it pays less than other types of insurance.
Too often enforcement of rules for dealing with crisis is lax, advocates for nursing home residents say.
Although proponents say the policies offered by nursing homes are more attuned to patients, some report frustrations when trying to dispute care decisions.
Of the 528 nursing homes that graduated from special focus status before 2014 and are still operating, more than half — 52 percent — have harmed patients or operated in a way that put patients in serious jeopardy within the past three years, a KHN analysis finds.
Medicaid pays for two-thirds of nursing home residents, but some recipients don’t even know they’re on it.
Hospitals rarely help patients find the best nursing home. When they do advise, hospitals sometimes push their own facilities.