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Medicare alerts public of abuse reports at nursing homes

Posted at 7:12 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 19:12:41-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Medicare updated their website Wednesday to hold nursing homes accountable and to let the public know about any reports of abuse at local nursing homes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a statement It’s a part of the president’s plan to keep nursing homes safe.

Nursing homes in Southwest Florida rank everywhere from five out of five stars like Shell Point Nursing in Fort Myers, to as poor as one star showing a red stop sign to indicate abuse.

That’s whats next to MarnorCare’s name on the CMS’s Nursing Home Compare site now.

According to an inspection report by the Department of Health and Human Services, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) allegedly neglected a patient there in 2018, which led to the patient dying. It said the CNA talked on her cellphone while feeding a patient who couldn’t swallow food on their own. It also said food was left in the patient’s mouth and the patient died the next day because of lack of oxygen.

Christy Skinner with Shell Point Nursing, which ranks as one of the top nursing homes statewide said the ranking system and warnings help protects who matters most.

“You have to be able to make sure that you are meeting expectations and meeting the regulatory standards,” she said. “It all boils down to, are the residents happy? Do they feel like they’re getting exceptional care? Do they feel like they’re getting great customer service?”

In a statement a ManorCare representative said they appreciate CMS’s transparency goal, but said the icon is confusing for patients:

We appreciate CMS’ goat to be fully transparent with families and patients. However, we feel the addition of the alert icon to Nursing Home Compare may be confusing to consumers and their families. There is not clear information about why the center was cited and may mislead a decision maker.

Keeping our residents safe from abuse and neglect is our number one priority. Even one case of abuse or neglect is too many and we have zero tolerance for any allegation and address issues immediately.

The dedicated caregivers at ManorCare Health Services in Ft. Myers are proud of the quality care and outstanding service they provide to patients and residents. We encourage potential consumers with questions or concerns to arrange a tour or visit and see for themselves the good work we do here every day.

CMS also said they will review and update state performance indicators a few times a year to help identify any potential issues.