As outlined in its August 2019 report, Pennsylvania Department of Health nursing home surveyors conducted 520 inspections of 318 nursing homes, including 317 complaint investigations. In addition, 19 sanctions were finalized against nursing care facilities, with two provisional licenses issued, and civil penalties totaling more than $198,000.
"If you see something at a nursing home that doesn't seem right, we encourage you to speak up," Dr. Levine said. "You can make a complaint anonymously by calling 1-800-254-5164, filling out the online complaint form, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or sending the complaint in the mail to the department."
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 or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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