HARRISBURG, PA — In the January 2020 report, Pennsylvania Department of Health nursing home surveyors conducted 512 inspections of 332 nursing homes, including 285 complaint investigations. In addition, 11 sanctions were finalized against nursing care facilities, which included the issuance of three provisional one licenses, and civil penalties totaling $116,000.
“We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, and that includes those in nursing homes,” Dr. Levine said. “We are continuing to hold nursing home operators accountable, as necessary, to ensure they are providing safe care. If you see something at a nursing home that doesn’t seem right, we encourage you to speak up.”
Individuals with complaints about a nursing home can file that complaint with the department in several ways. Complaints can be made anonymously by calling 1-800-254-5164, filling out the online complaint form, emailing [email protected] or sending the complaint in the mail to the department.
In 2019, the department conducted 5381 inspections of 3637 nursing homes, including 3285 complaint investigations. 213 sanctions were finalized against nursing care facilities, which included the issuance of 26 provisional one licenses, four provisional two licenses and one ban on admissions. Civil penalties in 2019 totaled more than $2.5 million dollars.
The inspections, called surveys, include information on nursing home patient-care and building inspections. If a facility is cited for not following regulations during the survey, it must submit a plan of correction that includes what will be done to fix the issue and a completion date. The department will conduct a surprise follow-up inspection to ensure the issue is resolved.
The department also may issue a sanction. Possible sanctions include a civil penalty, a ban on admissions, a license being revoked, or a facility being put on a provisional license, which requires, among other things, being subject to additional inspections. A provisional license can be renewed no more than three times. The department can return the facility to a regular license if it is satisfied that all issues have been corrected and it is warranted.
The department maintains a searchable database, which allows the public to view patient care surveys, building safety surveys, size of the nursing home, type of ownership and additional information about each of the nursing homes in the state. The department oversees nearly 700 nursing homes and more than 88,000 beds within nursing homes in Pennsylvania, in addition to other facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, home care agencies and others.
Surveys are posted to the website 41 days after the survey is completed.
Additional information on Pennsylvania’s nursing homes can be found on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov.
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