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Arizona Did Not Always Verify Correction of Deficiencies Identified During Surveys of Nursing Homes Participating in Medicare and Medicaid

The Arizona Department of Health Services, Division of Licensing Services, Bureau of Long-Term Care Licensing (State agency), did not always verify nursing homes' correction of deficiencies identified during surveys in calendar year (CY) 2014 in accordance with Federal requirements. For the 100 sampled deficiencies, the State agency verified the nursing homes' correction of 58 deficiencies but did not obtain the nursing homes' evidence of correction for the remaining 42 deficiencies, which were all less serious deficiencies. On the basis of our sample results, we estimated that the State agency did not verify nursing homes' correction of deficiencies in accordance with Federal requirements for 361 (56 percent) of the 650 deficiencies identified during surveys in CY 2014. The State agency's practice for less serious deficiencies was to accept the nursing homes' correction plans as confirmation of substantial compliance without obtaining the required evidence of correction.

We recommended that the State agency improve its practices for verifying nursing homes' correction of identified deficiencies by obtaining nursing homes' evidence of correction for less serious deficiencies.

In written comments on our draft report, the State agency concurred with our finding and recommendation.

Filed under: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services