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Complaints Rise as Investigations Decrease

Published on November 4th, 2019

The HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) notes an increase in nursing home complaints last year according to the most recent set of data from the Department of Health and Human Services.  High-priority incidents that were not investigated within the proper timeframe rose 23% in a year.  The number of high-priority grievances that failed to be investigated within the mandatory 10-day period peaked at 6,540 in 2018, as compared to 5,305 the year before.Obviously, the Trump Administration feels these incidents are not a high priority.

The OIG rolled out its 2016-2018 trends in nursing home complaints on individual state surveys — with the most recent 2018 complaint average reaching its highest level in two years at 52.3 out of 1,000 residents, versus the previous year’s 49.9 per 1,000.

On a state-by-state basis, Hawaii received a mere 8.7 complaints per 1,000 for 2018, with only four high-priority incidents. Texas, at the other end of the spectrum, saw 102.3 complaints per 1,000, with 3,043 high-priority complaints — 1,304 of which were not investigated in 10 days — and 10 immediate jeopardy complaints not probed in two days.

Source: HHS OIG

This past week, CMS rolled out a number of new assessment tools — including a rubric and grading scale — for the State Performance Standards System (SPSS), which took effect for the 2020 fiscal year beginning October 1.

 

Joe Pioletti
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