Industry News Update: Nursing Homes Cited for Health, Safety Violations

More than 90 percent of U.S. nursing homes were cited for federal health and safety violations in 2007, according to an HHS Office of Inspector General report. The report found that deficiencies were cited for 94 percent of for-profit nursing homes, 88 percent of not-for-profit homes and 91 percent of government-run homes.
For-profit homes account for approximately 66 percent of U.S. nursing homes, not-for-profit homes account for 27 percent, and government-run homes account for 6 percent (Pear, New York Times, 9/30).

The most common deficiencies centered on quality of care measures, including treatment and prevention of bedsores and urinary tract infections. The most common quality of life issues involved housekeeping, maintenance, and nutrition, with 43 percent of homes cited for problems with dietary services (Freking, AP/Boston Globe, 9/29).

The report found that about 17 percent of nursing homes had deficiencies that caused “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” to residents. Of the 37,150 complaints inspectors received in 2007 about the condition of nursing homes, 39 percent were substantiated and about 20 percent of those verified complaints involved patient abuse or neglect.