In a June 5 press release, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) announced the decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to publicly release the monthly list of nursing facilities that are candidates to the Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. Sens. Casey and Toomey also released the April 2019 list of facilities nominated to the Special Focus Facility program. CMS oversees this program for nursing homes with a documented pattern of poor care. The names of the facilities chosen to participate in the program are made public; however, the approximately 400 nursing homes that are not selected to participate were kept hidden from the public, until CMS’ announcement. Six Mississippi nursing homes are on the list: Woodland Village Nursing Center, Diversicare of Southaven, Mississippi Care Center of Greenville, Aurora Health and Rehabilitation, Walter B. Crook Nursing Facility, and Meridian Community Living Center.
This announcement by CMS comes on the heels of Casey’s and Toomey’s release of a report on under-performing nursing homes across the U.S. In order to provide greater transparency to individuals and families, Senators Casey and Toomey requested the names of these additional facilities be made publicly available by CMS. Originally, CMS declined to release this list.
“There are few decisions more serious or life-altering than that of choosing a nursing home. I am pleased that CMS has taken the work that I have done with Senator Toomey seriously and is heeding our call to release the list of nursing facilities that are nominated to the Special Focus Facility program,” said Senator Casey. “Our bipartisan work will ensure that families have all the information at their fingertips when choosing a nursing home. Now we must work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the SFF program is working properly and that CMS has the funding it needs to improve underperforming nursing homes nationwide.”
In March, Sens. Casey and Toomey wrote to CMS requesting information on its oversight of nursing homes in the Special Focus Facility program, including those identified by news reports that alleged reports of abuse and neglect.