A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) nationwide sanction program designed to correct safety and quality deficiencies in nursing homes that jeopardize residents' health is seldom used, concluded the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a December 21 report (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1037r.pdf).
The GAO found that from 2003 through 2008, the sanction program, which involves replacement of a nursing home's management for 23 days, had been applied only 14 times, with 10 facilities successfully reaching federal quality requirements. In interviewing state and CMS regional office officials, the GAO identified several obstacles to using temporary management, including time constraints, a lack of qualified temporary managers, and inadequate funding to pay for such short-term oversight.
Mitka M. Temporary Management. JAMA. 2010;303(6):499. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.77