Nursing homes in Montana provide quality care, but some fall short of the mark.

For years, there’s been a pattern in government. If federal inspectors find nursing homes with critical safety, sanitation, or health problems, they keep the name under wraps. The times have changed, though. According to a recent U.S. Senate report, there are six Montana nursing care facilities known to “underperform.”

The Senate report outlines the nationwide Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. The long-standing program aims to identify and provide support for nursing facilities with pronounced deficiencies in their care structure. 

When inspectors find a nursing facility that has more problems than other facilities, more severe issues than other facilities, or a pattern of serious care failings, they recommend the facility as a candidate for the SFF program. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

Although such nursing homes would periodically institute enough improvements in the presenting problems that they would be in substantial compliance on one survey, significant problems would often resurface by the time of the next survey. Such facilities with a “yo-yo” or “in and out” compliance history rarely addressed underlying systemic problems that were giving rise to repeated cycles of serious deficiencies. To solve this problem, CMS created the “Special Focus Facility” (SFF) initiative. 

Currently, the SFF program has 88 participants across the country. In a few short months, the list may grow to include the six Montana nursing homes.

Which Care Facilities Made the List?

Senators Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa. released the report. It includes six Montana care facilities, located throughout the state. Each facility is now a candidate for a federal program that provides increased oversight.

  • Awe Kualawaache Care Center in Crow Agency
  • Lewistown’s state nursing home, the Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center
  • Big Sky Care Center in Helena
  • Heritage Place in Kalispell
  • A facility the report only called “Deer Lodge,” which is located at 1100 Texas Ave., in Deer Lodge, Montana. In 2017 there was a nursing facility at the same address. The facility, called Genesis Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, lost its Medicaid provider agreement due to noncompliance.

Already on the list was Crest Nursing Home, in Butte. Crest Nursing Home is one of 88 facilities in the country recognized by the Government under the Special Focus Facility program.

Choosing the Best Nursing Facility for Your Loved one

Selecting a nursing facility for a loved one is difficult enough, without the realization that some facilities are falling short. While the Senate list is sobering, it does underline some key facilities to beware of.

“We’ve got to make sure any family member or any potential resident of a nursing home can get this information, not only ahead of time but on an ongoing basis,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who issued the report.

Now that you know which Montana facilities are named in the report, take steps to evaluate potential nursing homes carefully. Start by looking into the previous care records of any facility you’re interested in. Doing your due diligence on the front end of your care decision will ensure you find a healthy, safe, attentive care facility for yourself or your loved one.

If you do happen to find yourself in a situation where you expect nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a skilled nursing home litigation attorney. Here at McGrady Law, our team handles cases ranging from elder abuse to neglect and beyond, and we’ll help you fight for the settlement you deserve during this difficult time. Contact us today to learn more.