CMS offering full list of troubled facilities

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Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
All nursing homes on a federal watch list for poor performing facilities now will be publicized on a government Web site, Bush administration officials have decided.

The policy switch follows an uproar that occurred when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the names of only the 54 worst performers (based on a list of 128) in November. 

But with the new policy come conditions providers favor: List members will be categorized in to whether they are new to the list, improving, not improving, graduating from the list or terminated from federal reimbursement programs.

The “Special Focus Facilities” list will next be publicly updated in April, said Acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems at a special media briefing Feb. 12.

In response to a McKnight's reporter's question, Weems also clarified that from now on only providers on the list would be given brief advance notice of their inclusion on it. Consumer advocates complained after CMS gave only state agencies – and provider associations – the full list in November. 

To view the current SFF list, visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CertificationandComplianc/Downloads/SFFList.pdf.