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The Crucial Need to Resolve an Immediate Jeopardy Finding in Long-Term Care Facilities
Category: AANAC News
Tags: Immediate Jeopardy

The American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination, or AANAC, was founded in 1999 as a networking organization and resource for long-term care nurses and other healthcare practitioners in nursing homes. The group is a sister organization to the American Association of Directors of Nursing Services, founded in 2016. They function under an umbrella group known as the American Association of Post-Acute Nursing.

A Serious Finding

Practitioners can use their membership in these organizations for access to resources if their facility is ever determined to be in a state of Immediate Jeopardy (IJ), a serious finding from the government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These ratings also can be applied to hospitals.

The status indicates that the facility has not complied with one or more requirements, resulting in a situation that could cause serious injury to patients or residents. In the case of nursing homes, sometimes the determination is made after one or more residents has suffered harm because of that noncompliance.

Losing Certification

This type of rating can cause a nursing home or other long-term care facility to lose its certification for Medicare and Medicaid, which can ultimately put the place out of business. So many long-term care patients rely on those government benefits that they would need to find a different place to live. In addition, the reputation of the facility is tarnished, sometimes irreversibly.

Acting Swiftly

All of this means that when a long-term care establishment receives this rating, the owners, managers, and practitioners must act swiftly to resolve the problems. The government agency only allows a short time to right the situation before it takes further punitive action.

Even high-quality nursing homes can be at risk of an IJ rating if noncompliance is discovered in one specific area, practice or group of employees. It's not always a recognition of generalized problems compromising the entire facility, yet one particular instance might be a warning sign of a potential impending domino effect. In the best-case scenario, the nursing home team can successfully fix the problem before the CMS surveyors even leave the building. Otherwise, CMS will need to visit again to verify improvements.

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May 2018 (1)
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