Changes are coming for federal regulators and the Special Focus Facilities program.

The Biden Administration has announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services  (CMS) will heighten oversight of poor-performing skilled nursing facilities, including at least one in North Carolina.

The goal is to crack down on locations where patients are suffering unnecessarily.

The Administration says changes include:

The announced changes include:

  • Making improved quality throughout a facility, rather than a lower level of deficiencies, key to completing the program and escaping its penalties and stigma.
  • As in the case of Accordius Health at Statesville, pulling vital federal funding. Under new standards, this denial can take place at an earlier point, when a center is cited for two separate instances of “immediate jeopardy” of the life or health of residents.
  • Escalating enforcement, meaning a more severe regimen for SFF Program facilities that “have continued noncompliance and little or no demonstrated effort to improve performance.”
  • The new focus on staffing levels as a factor in the decision by state regulators on choosing a facility for the program.

The full story from NC Health News is available by clicking here.