Nursing Home Inspections
A nursing facility includes staff and equipment to give skilled nursing care and, in most cases, skilled rehabilitative services and other related health services. These facilities are licensed by the state and certified to participate in the Medicaid and/or Medicare programs. In Connecticut, there are 233 nursing homes. Certain nursing homes may also meet specific standards for sub-acute care or dementia care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) contracts with each State to conduct onsite inspections that determine whether its nursing homes meet the minimum Medicare and Medicaid quality and performance standards. The State conducts inspections of each nursing home that participates in Medicare and/or Medicaid on average about once a year. If the nursing home is performing poorly, however, the State inspectors may go in more frequently. The State also investigates complaints about nursing home care.
During the nursing home inspection, the State looks at many aspects of quality. The inspection team observes resident care processes, staff/resident interaction, and environment. Using an established protocol, the team interviews a sample of residents and family members about their life within the nursing home, and interviews caregivers and administrative staff. The team reviews clinical records.
The inspection team consists of trained inspectors, including at least one registered nurse. This team evaluates whether the nursing home meets individual resident needs. In addition, fire safety specialists evaluate whether a nursing home meets standards for safe construction. When an inspection team finds that a home does not meet a specific regulation, it issues a deficiency citation. Nursing homes with deficiencies may be subject to fines and other penalties if they are not corrected. The regulations cover a wide range of aspects of resident life, from specifying standards for the safe storage and preparation of food to protecting residents from physical or mental abuse or inadequate care practices.
You may also want to view Medicare's Nursing Home Compare website for information.