Worst NJ nursing homes are not getting better
When New Jersey State Comptroller Kevin Walsh released a list of the 15 worst performing nursing homes in the state, he hoped it would prompt them to improve conditions inside those facilities.
For many, it did not.
Walsh has released a six month follow-up report that finds only six of those 15 had made enough improvements in conditions and patient care to move off the "worst" list."
At the same time, the report added three new facilities to the list.
You can read the comptroller's full report and the list of facilities by following this link.
Collectively, the nursing homes on the updated list are being paid $107 million per year in Medicaid funding.
Gov. Phil Murphy's administration has started withholding some state funding from the facilities named in the comptrollers report, but Walsh says funding from the federal government continues to flow. Medicaid, Walsh says, makes no distinction between high and low performing nursing homes.
The majority of homes that have landed on the worst performing list are for-profit facilities.
All have a history of serious health, safety and patient care issues.
In his initial report, Walsh called for harsh federal penalties for nursing homes that do not improve patient care.
"Impose restrictions on one-star facilities until they improve their care or bar them ultimately, after some chances, at getting Medicaid funds if they do not," Walsh said.
"With over $100 million a year going to these one-star facilities, it’s a massive tool. It’s massive leverage the state can and should use to improve the kind of care people are getting in nursing homes,” he said. “Bottom line, New Jersey taxpayers should not be funding nursing homes that are disproportionately likely to put people in harm’s way."
Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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