List of poor-performing nursing homes still not public a month after promised release | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

List of poor-performing nursing homes still not public a month after promised release

Nicole C. Brambila
1394637_web1_Kate-Goodrich-Headshot--2-
Submitted
Dr. Kate Goodrich, chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
1394637_web1_ptr-toomey06-022019
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey answers questions during an interview inside of his offices in Downtown Pittsburgh on Feb. 19, 2019.
1394637_web1_CaseyRun
Associated Press
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey speaks during a general election campaign event in Philadelphia.

A month after federal regulators pledged to release its secret list of poor-performing nursing homes, officials echoed what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Chief Medical Officer Kate Goodrich said five weeks ago — that the report would be coming “soon.”

Lawmakers said CMS has not provided them a schedule for the report’s release.

Goodrich could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

On June 5, Goodrich said CMS would go public with its list of troubled nursing homes after U.S. Sens. Bob Casey Jr. and Pat Toomey released the secret report.

“Senator Toomey has urged CMS to release the list as soon as possible,” said Bill Jaffee, a Toomey spokesman.“CMS has not provided a timeline, but has reassured our office that it will release the information to the public.”

The list in April identified 400 troubled facilities nationwide, including 20 in Pennsylvania. Sixteen of the state’s homes were marked as candidates for federal intervention while four – two in Westmoreland County – already have the federal designation called a “Special Focus Facility.” Those Westmoreland homes receiving federal intervention are Twin Lakes Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Greensburg and the Grove at North Huntingdon in Irwin. Administrators at both of the homes could not be immediately reached for comment.

The quality of nursing home care has long been a public concern, but the graying of America will make this issue even more critical in the decades to come. By 2040, nearly one in four Pennsylvanians are expected to be age 65 and older, the demographic most likely to need skilled nursing care.

The Special Focus Facility initiative is the federal corrective program designed to bring chronically underperforming facilities into compliance. Failure to do so within 18 to 24 months can result in a facility being cut from Medicare and Medicaid programs, the chief payer for nursing home care.

Budget constraints have limited the program to 88 facilities.

Although CMS compiles the wait list monthly, the agency has not yet made it publicly available.

Nicole C. Brambila is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Nicole at 724-226-7704, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.