- Not until now was a list of 400 underperforming nursing homes, which require extensive oversight by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) as a Special Focus Facility, been made available for public review.
- The list of troubled homes was previously kept quiet by CMS officials for nearly twenty years until two U. S. Senators from Pennsylvania released it in June of 2019.
- 10 nursing home facilities in Michigan made that list for having serious ongoing health, safety or sanitary issues impacting residents and dozens more would have been included if funding to work with them were available.
- Family members have the right to know if a resident is at risk of abuse, neglect or injury through better transparency and information provided by regulating agencies.
10 of The Worst Nursing Homes in Michigan Named in Government Report
A June 2019 Senate report issued by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., along with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., included the names of hundreds of U.S. nursing homes found by inspectors to have a “persistent record of poor care” related to serious ongoing health, safety or sanitary problems. The federal government list had previously been kept private for 20 years.
The report included nearly 400 struggling facilities nationwide named by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which are part of the agency’s Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. This program is run on federal dollars to identify nursing homes known to put residents at risk of abuse, neglect, or injury. 10 Michigan facilities were listed in the report, and regulators say many more could have been included had budget cuts to support them not been made.
- Cambridge East Healthcare Center
- Clarkston Specialty Healthcare Center
- The Laurels of Coldwater
- Medilodge of Midland
- Medilodge of Livingston
- Medilodge of Sterling Heights
- Medilodge of Southfield
- Metron of Belding
- Samaritas Senior Living in Saginaw
- Schoolcraft Medical Care Facility
If SFF nursing homes do not improve, funding can be cut off by Medicare and Medicaid. Additional eligible SFF facilities may not have been named and will soon be available on a government website. The Senators’ report and the statement are available now for review online.
Why Reporting Nursing Home Quality Measures Matters
While most long-term care advocates already know of the many problems related to elder abuse and neglect, greed by for-profit nursing homes and lack of staffing and funds continue to feed the issues. The hope is by having resources such as this now-public list, as well as greater transparency by CMS of underperforming homes or by state and federal regulators; facilities will know that families are indeed watching and do care about resident health and safety concerns and facility performance.
To find out the audit and licensing history of Medicare-approved nursing homes in Michigan, and subsequent quality ratings of nursing homes, the government website Nursing Home Compare can help.
Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Is Happening in Michigan
In a review of federal CMS data, in 2017, nearly a quarter of the 444 Michigan nursing homes receiving government funding were cited for serious violations related to the health, safety and well-being and harm of residents. Most officials from CMS will argue those numbers are likely much higher if facilities accurately reported all concerns. But since perpetrators are often trusted caregivers and can happen in licensed settings such as adult foster care, community living centers for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, in both for-profit and non-profit facilities in fear of losing government funding, many incidences remain to go undocumented and thousands of residents continue to be at risk of harm.
Nursing home abuse and neglect can occur in many different ways, including:
- Decubitus ulcers (bed sores)
- Misuse of antipsychotic drugs
- Medication errors
- Infectious diseases
- Physical restraints
- Wrongful eviction
- Heat sicknesses and heat stroke
- Wandering and elopement from facilities
- Pain management
- Clogged breathing tubes
- Physical abuse
- Sexual assault
- Verbal abuse
- Wrongful death
- Wandering and elopement
In Michigan, there are state laws that make elder abuse and neglect a crime, and those found guilty of it can go to jail.
Protecting Your Loved One from Abuse and Neglect
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living says there are several warning signs to look out for when identifying elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Those may include:
- Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, scratches, hair loss, abrasions, and burns
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, anxiety and unusual depression
- Bruises around the breasts or genital area from sexual abuse
- Sudden changes in financial situations
- Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and abnormal weight loss
- Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by staff
- Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person
If you do have suspicions about the care your loved one is receiving, make sure to speak up and follow these precautions:
- Don’t make your visits predictable, visit frequently, and at different times on different days
- Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions to your loved one and their care staff about care
- Check for bedsores, unexplained bruises, and sensitivity to pain
- Note the cleanliness of all the residents and the facility, including the bathroom
- Check for weight loss and learn the signs of dehydration
- Request a medication review
- Keep a small journal for notes during and after visits
- On each visit, have your photo taken with your loved one and date it
Do not be afraid to report any suspected abuse or neglect immediately.
Resources for Families of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Victims
If you suspect elder abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation of any kind in a nursing home or long-term care setting, it’s essential to report concerns immediately.
- Bureau of Health Services Abuse Hotline: 800-882-6006
- Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc.:
- Developmental Disabilities: 800-288-5923
- Mental Illness: 800-288-5923
- Attorney General 24-hour Health Care Fraud Hotline: 800-24-ABUSE (800-242-2873)
- Notify the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (DHS), Adult Protective Services. Statewide 24-Hour Hotline: 855-444-3911
We understand it can be a stressful time for your family, and you may be frightened for your loved one and seeking quick help. With offices throughout the state of Michigan, the team at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. can come to you to learn more about any nursing home abuse and neglect concerns you may have and provide the resources and support your family may need during this time.
Abuse of Nursing Home Residents is Never Acceptable
There is a time limit in Michigan in which our team of nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys can fight for your loved one’s nursing home injustices. There is no fee unless we win your case. Please contact us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free phone consultation or visit us online to send our team a message.