A new report from two U.S. senators reveals hundreds of nursing homes across the country that qualify for a program targeting facilities that "'substantially fail' to meet the required care standards and resident protections afforded by the Medicare and Medicaid programs." Four of the centers, plus a previously unveiled fifth, are located in Colorado, with the majority in metro Denver.
As noted in "Families' and Residents' Right to Know: Uncovering Poor Care in America's Nursing Homes," jointly released by Pennsylvania senators Bob Casey, a Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Republican, the federal Special Facilities Focus (SFF) program "is designed to increase oversight of facilities that persistently underperform in required inspections conducted by state survey agencies."
Centers in the program are made public, and they include one in Colorado: Bethany Nursing & Rehab Center, at 5301 West First Avenue in Lakewood. As of the most recent SFF update, issued last month, Bethany had been in the program for nine months and was included on a roster of facilities that had not substantially improved since its previous inspection, conducted in late November 2018. We reached out to Bethany for comment; if and when we hear back from a representative, we'll share the response in this post.
In addition, the analysis reveals so-called SFF "candidates," which are described as being "indistinguishable from participants in terms of their qualifications for enhanced oversight." However, they have not yet been selected for the program "as a result of limited resources at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services."
To Casey and Toomey, the decision not to disclose such candidates is a disservice to families making a decision about where to place a loved one in need of nursing care — hence the release of a list that places candidates alongside program members.
The four SFF candidates in Colorado are Monaco Parkway Health and Rehabilitation Center, 895 South Monaco Parkway in Denver; Pearl Street Health and Rehabilitation Center, 3636 South Pearl Street in Englewood; Alpine Living Center, 501 Thornton Parkway in Thornton; and Aspen Living Center, 1795 Monterey Road in Colorado Springs.
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The Colorado candidates have something in common: All are owned and operated by SavaSeniorCare, based in Atlanta.
In response to an inquiry from Westword, Annaliese N. Impink, SavaSeniorCare's executive vice president for legal operations and regulatory affairs, offered the following statement via email: "We have just received the list and are in the process of reviewing it," Impink wrote. "While four of our facilities are on the list in Colorado, most of those facilities have improved their regulatory and clinical results during their recent annual inspection."
She added: "We continue to work diligently with each facility to improve the quality of care and quality of life for our residents. We appreciate the work that our staff does every day for those individuals we have the privilege to serve. We also appreciate the support of our communities as we continue to move forward at each facility."