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Unfortunately, care and safety deficiencies are incredibly common in Texas nursing homes. In fact, on average any given nursing home will have six to seven deficiencies per inspection. Deficiences can range from minor infractions to life-threatening. Loved ones who are considering putting a family member in an elder care facility have several resources available to aid in the decision-making process—including the Special Focus Facility candidate list. The Special Focus Facility (SFF) is a program by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that monitors nursing homes with serious quality control issues. Each year, the program releases a list of nursing homes of the worst-performing nursing homes in a state. Currently, Texas has 30 nursing homes on the SFF candidate list—the maximum number of slots allotted to each state.
CMS and state agencies inspect nursing homes and assign them a rating based on a points system. Their goals are 1) to determine if nursing homes are providing quality care, 2) protect residents, and 3) improve the health and safety of residents in homes. When nursing homes fail to meet health care or fire safety standards, these are marked as deficiencies. When searching for a care facility, it is crucial that loved ones know the SFF status of the nursing home they are considering.
What is the Special Focus Facility Program?
The SFF program uses the same methodology used in the health inspection domain of the Five-Star Quality Rating System. Points are given based on the number, scope, and severity of the deficiencies. A nursing facility receives a designation on the SFF candidate list based on the results of three inspections—usually over a three-year period. The more deficiencies cited, the more points are assigned. The program limits the number of facilities that a state can put on the list. Each year, Texas maxes out its allotment of 30 deficient nursing homes. In addition, the state usually has facilities on other lists that the program tracks.
“If CMS did not have an arbitrary limitation placed on the number of facilities that can be in the program, Texas would undoubtedly lead the nation in Special Focus Facilities,” Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer J.T. Borah said.
How does a nursing home end up on the SFF candidate list?
Many of these nursing homes have serious problems affecting the quality of resident life. Often, nursing homes on this list have significant problems such as:
- Twice the number of average deficiencies as other nursing homes;
- Increased likelihood of personal injury experienced by residents; and
- A pattern of serious problems that persist over a three-year period.
Nursing homes will periodically institute new policies with the goal to correct problems identified during inspections. However, facilities that make the SFF candidate list have significant recurring problems.
Facilities with the most points in a state become candidates for the SFF program. In other words, the top worst performing nursing home facilities in a state become a special focus facility. The SFF program has a minimum candidate pool of five nursing homes and a maximum of 30 per state.
Which Texas nursing homes are being watched?
On April 28, 2021, CMS released its latest batch of Texas’ worst-performing nursing homes. There are more than 30 Texas nursing home facilities on the SFF candidate list. Those nursing homes are the following:
- Alamo Heights Health And Rehabilitation Center – San Antonio
- Brenham Nursing And Rehabilitation – Center Brenham
- Brightpointe At Lytle Lake – Abilene
- Brookshire Residence And Rehabilitation Center – Brookshire
- Care Inn Of La Grange – La Grange
- Copperas Hollow Nursing & Rehabilitation Center – Caldwell
- Eden Home Inc – New Braunfels
- Edgewater Care Center – Kerrville
- LaPorte Healthcare Center – LaPorte
- Lubbock Hospitality Nursing And Rehabilitation – Lubbock
- Luling Care Center – Luling
- Marshall Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center – Marshall
- Paris Healthcare Center – Paris
- Pasadena Care Center – Pasadena
- Pathways Memory Care At Villa Toscana – Houston
- Ponderosa Nursing And Rehabilitation Center – DeKalb
- Rockport Nursing And Rehabilitation Center – Rockport
- Rose Haven Retreat – Atlanta
- Senior Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center – Port Arthur
- Skyline Nursing Center – Dallas
- Southeast Nursing & Rehabilitation Center – San Antonio
- Sterling Oaks Rehabilitation – Katy
- Texas Institute For Clinically Complex Care – Houston
- The Hillcrest Of North Dallas – Dallas
- The Oaks At White Settlement – Fort Worth
- The Palms Nursing & Rehabilitation – Corpus Christi
- The Rio At Mission Trails – San Antonio
- Villa Toscana At Cypress Woods – Houston
- Whispering Pines Nursing And Rehab – Winnsboro
- Windsor Calallen – Corpus Christi
Two Texas facilities were designated as not improved:
- Focused Care At Allenbrook – Baytown
- Heritage House Health Care Centre – Quitman
Four Texas facilities were designated as having shown improvement:
- Colonial Manor Care Center – New Braunfels
- Kennedy Health & Rehab – Lufkin
- River City Care Center – San Antonio
- Windcrest Nursing And Rehabilitation – San Antonio
“We are not surprised to see some of the names on this list because they are facilities we have sued multiple times over the last decade,” Borah said.
What should I do with this information?
Knowing the SFF status of a nursing home can ensure your loved one has a positive experience and receives the best possible care.
“We encourage people to avoid these facilities if at all possible,” Borah said. “Not only because they are on this list, but because our firm’s attorneys have had cases against quite a few of them.”
Facilities that make the SFF list tend to go in and out of compliance and hardly address underlying systemic problems. This yo-yo effect leads to serious deficiencies that pose risks to residents. Even if you decide to go with one of these facilities, you know that you must be vigilant in making sure your loved one receives the care they deserve.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
The SFF candidate list serves as a guide for families deciding on the next step in their loved ones’ lives. Texas has the most one and two-star nursing homes in the nation. In many cases, these facilities are understaffed which can lead to serious negligence and injuries. If nursing home negligence or abuse left your loved one with injuries, contact The Carlson Law Firm today. We offer free consultations and are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Your loved one deserves the best representation for injuries caused by nursing home negligence. Our firm handles all areas of nursing home personal injuries.