How does a nursing home responsible for caring for our elderly loved ones go from functioning normally to offering such potentially low quality care that it risks being cut out of Medicare benefits?
Thankfully, two words: Regular check-ups.
Just like everyday citizens receive regular medical check-ups to assess their health, nursing homes around the country that participate in Medicare undergo their own form of check-ups. In many ways, these "check-ups" assess how the “health” of the nursing home may trickle down to the health of the elderly residents they are supposed to protect.
Around six months ago, the Phoenix, Arizona “Solterra Subacute Services” received one of its check-ups, performed by the CMS. They failed the check-up, meaning they were put on the CMS list of nursing facilities to watch.
About six months later, the facility received its second check-up, and it did not pass. Instead, it was marked a “letter B,” or: Facility that has not improved.
That means the nursing home has a limited window of time to clean up their act or risk Medicare termination . Once a nursing home is terminated from Medicare, it is very rare for the nursing home to survive.