Nursing homes in Ohio are subject to unannounced inspection by agents from the state Department of Health’s Division of Quality Assurance. Though no facility can predict when or how often these snap inspections happen, they can expect at least one inspection or survey every nine to 15 months.
Hopefully, these inspections go smoothly, but often the Division of Quality Assurance ends up ruling that the nursing home violated some regulation. The stakes are high; sanctions can range from fines, to denial of Medicare or Medicaid payments, to the facility losing its license to operate.
The best way for a long-term care facility to prevent this from happening is doing what it can to ensure it is in compliance with the law. Instead of waiting to hire an attorney after inspectors issue penalties, being proactive can make sure that there are no inadvertent violations for inspectors to find.
Another way the Department of Health issues sanctions is after a survey. At this stage, a facility’s lawyer can help prepare staff for questioning, handle document requests, and represent the facility during the investigation phase.
Unannounced inspections can be worrisome, but a facility that is prepared stands a much better chance of getting through them unscathed than one whose owners turn a blind eye to potential problems and simply hope for the best. That attitude can be very expensive, and possibly put you out of business.
Instead, an experienced attorney can let management go back to focusing on providing quality care to the facility’s residents.