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Office of Inspector General Report: $5.1 billion in Medicare Funds Wasted on Poor Nursing Home Care

The report, titled, SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES OFTEN FAIL TO MEET CARE PLANNING AND DISCHARGE PLANNING REQUIREMENTS was released Thursday, February 28, 2013, by the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general, and noted that Medicare paid about $5.1 billion for patients to stay in skilled nursing facilities that failed to meet federal quality of care rules in 2009, in some cases resulting in dangerous and neglectful conditions.

Skilled nursing facilities (SNF) are required to develop a care plan for each beneficiary and provide services in accordance with the care plan, as well as to plan for each beneficiary’s discharge. These requirements are essential to ensuring that beneficiaries receive appropriate care and safely transition from one care setting to another. Several Office of Inspector General studies and investigations found that SNFs had deficiencies in quality of care, did not develop appropriate care plans, and failed to provide adequate care to beneficiaries. In fiscal year 2012, Medicare paid $32.2 billion for SNF services. This study is part of a larger body of work about SNF payments and quality of care. Click here to read the report or to download a copy of the the report.