In the search for a suitable placement for a failing loved one, one of the most pressing needs is ensuring his or her safety. In spite of diligent research, there remains the concern that a resident could suffer from neglect or abuse. Kentucky residents will soon have a new tool for assessing a facility.
There is currently a rating system that measures several key points of care for established care facilities. However, families were often hindered in their search for information relating to prior violations at a particular facility. The rating system currently ranks a home based on cost, staffing levels and other quality of care indicators. Before the end of the month, there will be an easier way to check whether a facility has a record of suspected abuse or neglect that could result in harm to a patient.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be adding an icon to its comparison website. The icon will be an easy way for visitors to check whether a home has been the subject of any citations relating to neglect or abuse. If a facility has been reported for suspected abuse or neglect in the past year, the icon will alert visitors. If the suspected abuse or neglect could have caused harm to a resident, the warning icon will remain present for 24 months.
The addition of the icon will make it much easier for families and others to quickly assess the quality of a nursing facility. Though the current system does aid consumers, the enhanced warning is one more tool to ensure the safety of a vulnerable family member. Kentucky residents who are concerned that a loved one has suffered neglect or abuse while in the care of one of these facilities may seek guidance from an experienced attorney to prevent further harm and to recover any monetary damages that may have been incurred.