In October 2019, as a part of CMS’s initiative to improve quality in nursing homes and to help give consumers more information, a new icon was added to some facilities on Nursing Home Compare. Those facilities with a history of Abuse received a controversial “Red Hand” icon, and with it, a cap on Star Ratings.
Nursing Homes receive an annual unannounced Health Inspection (or Survey) and at that time, surveyors may issue deficiencies in several categories based on their observations.
There are 5 types of deficiencies that qualify for abuse (see below). Facilities with either:
will earn the “Red Hand.” In addition to the icon appearing on Nursing Home Compare, facilities with this Abuse designation have their Survey Star Rating capped at 2 stars.
As a result, consumers may be less likely to send their loved ones to the home, hospitals may be less likely to refer, and financing more difficult to come by. In our analysis, approximately 5% of Nursing Homes have been cited for Abuse.
Within StarPRO, we highlight not only those facilities that have the Abuse flag, but also those with any deficiencies in the abuse category. As Surveys cycle in and out, it can be valuable to understand whether or not a facility is at risk for an abuse citation in the future or in case CMS broadens the definition.
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