A deficiency is an indication that a nursing home is in violation of regulations. In this article, we’ll define the term “deficiency” and explain how it relates to nursing home abuse.
A deficiency is a citation that a nursing home has violated state or federal regulations.
All U.S. nursing homes certified for Medicare or Medicaid are surveyed by the State Survey Agency yearly. If the surveyor finds something that violates regulations, they issue a Citation of Deficiency. This means that the nursing home must develop a Plan of Correction to fix the relevant problem. The Plan of Correction must be approved by the State Survey Agency.
Between yearly surveys, complaints about nursing homes filed with the State Survey Agency are investigated by Complaint Investigators. If they find the complaint to be valid, they will issue a Citation of Deficiency.
Deficiencies are given a letter grade indicating the severity of the infarction. These are outlined in the table below.
|Scope of the Deficiency|
|Severity of the Deficiency||Isolated||Pattern||Widespread|
|Immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety||J||K||L|
|Actual harm that is not immediate jeopardy||G||H||I|
|No actual harm with potential for more than minimal harm that is not immediate jeopardy||D||E||F|
|No actual harm with potential for minimal harm||A||B||C|
Deficiency counts are given for certain Survey Cycles.
There are two types of nursing home deficiencies:
One type of deficiency that a nursing home can be cited for is abuse, namely:
In 2019, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the following facts about nursing home abuse deficiencies:
All of this indicates that nursing home abuse is on the rise and, even when it is reported, it is often not addressed with actual change. This means that nursing home residents and their loved ones should be very wary of the risk of nursing home abuse. It is important to be aware and vigilant of nursing home abuse warning signs to try and catch any potential abuse and stop it as early as possible.
If you or a loved one have experienced nursing home abuse, it is important to report it as soon as possible to the relevant authorities. It is also recommended to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses, injuries, and suffering.