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The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative aimed at improving nursing home staff

CMS Reveals Nursing Home Safety Measure

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative aimed at improving nursing home staff

CMS Reveals Nursing Home Safety Measure

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative aimed at improving nursing home staff. Through the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program, the CMS will create a variety of training materials for nursing home professionals, including instructional guides, staff competency assessment tools, webinars and technical assistance seminars.

The goal of these training materials is to help nursing home staff reduce the number of adverse events at the facility, improve staffing quality and improve dementia care. The measure will also help reduce staff turnover rates while enhancing performance.

The measure will be funded by federal civil penalties, or fines paid by nursing homes to the CMS when they violate regulations and there are concerns of quality and safety. Data shows that between 2013 and 2016, a total of 1,000 nursing homes were cited by the federal government for mishandling cases, or failing to protect residents against sexual abuse, rape or sexual assault. Nearly 100 facilities received multiple citations.

Under the program, the CMS released a staff competency assessment, which contains questions that gauge the staff’s knowledge of technical, behavioral and resident-based capabilities.

Another proposed rule would implement a federal law that would allow the CMS to impose enforcement actions on nursing home staff in cases of illegal activity and elder abuse, the agency said.

An estimated 1.6-2 million seniors are victims of elder abuse or neglect each year.

The proposed regulation would outline how the CMS would impose civil penalties, which can be as high as $200,000, against nursing home staff or volunteers who do not report reasonable suspicion of crimes. The rule would also allow for a two-year exclusion from federal health programs if facilities retaliate against whistleblowers.

The CMS has been under increased pressure to improve safety standards following reports of neglect, abuse and substandard care at nursing home facilities across the country.

It’s estimated that only one out of every 14 incidents of elder abuse are reported to local or state authorities. Only 20% of cases of neglect, abuse, exploitation or self-neglect are reported. Studies have also found that 7-10% of the elderly suffered from at least one episode of abuse in the last year. Ten percent of these cases were unrelated to financial exploitation.

Cases of sexual abuse often go unreported, and sex offenders may also be cared for in a nursing home without informing other residents and their families. Some nursing home facilities house several registered sex offenders, which is concerning for families with non-verbal family members.

Some states do not have laws that require residents or family members to be notified when sex offenders move in.

Typically, it’s the facility’s decision whether to accept a sex offender as a resident.

Publish Date : 22 Kasım 2018 Perşembe 13:05

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