'Immediate jeopardy' citations rise 22%, report says

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Inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have been issuing an ever-growing number of serious citations against nursing homes, according to a USA Today analysis featured in Wednesday's newspaper and online. According to the CMS, the number of "immediate jeopardy" citations rose 22% between 2000 and 2006, the newspaper reported.

"It doesn't necessarily mean things are getting worse. It means we're finding more of the problems," said Richard Mollot, executive director of Long Term Care Community Coalition, an LTC patient advocate group.

Over the last few years, many states have begun to crack down on nursing home violations. More than 2,000 immediate jeopardy violations were reported last year alone at almost 850 (or around 5%) of the 16,000 skilled nursing facilities overseen by CMS.

Bruce Yarwood, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, said in a statement that "care is improving despite the increase in serious citations."

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