Opposition to Nursing Home Abuse Icon Grows as Group Warns of ‘Unintended Consequences’

November 25, 2019

The long-term and post-acute care industry’s reaction to a new federal abuse warning icon for nursing homes was swift and negative when the plan was first announced last month — and now another voice has entered the fray to claim that the icons may actually do more harm than good.

Leaders from AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, late last week characterized the icon as a misguided approach toward improving nursing home safety.

“We truly believe that this approach will have unintended consequences, and in fact be counterproductive to achieving the high-quality patient outcomes for which we strive,” AMDA president Arif Nazir and executive director Christopher Laxton wrote in a Friday letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma. “It will also be clearly detrimental to the motivation and engagement of thousands of very hard-working front-line staff members.”

CMS in October announced a plan to include on its Nursing Home Compare website a special icon — a red circle with an open palm — next to the names of facilities with a history of abuse or neglect citations.