There’s something special about these nursing homes…and it’s a worry

Nursing homes with a history of serious quality issues are deemed “Special Focus Facilities” by the federal government. That designation triggers a chain of increasingly strong measures. The homes essentially have two years to make fixes or face being booted from the Medicare program. That could spell their financial doom.

So the clock is ticking for Briarcliff Haven Healthcare and Rehab Center in Atlanta, which landed on the Special Focus Facility list about four months ago, and University Nursing & Rehab Center in Athens, on the latest list about one month.

Briarcliff Haven, a for-profit facility, rates much below average on the Nursing Home Compare website.  Inspectors found 27 health deficiencies at their latest visit, compared with an average of 3.5 at other Georgia facilities. Staffing was also rated much below average, with registered nurses spending an average of 17 minutes a day with patients. The Georgia average is 31 minutes; the national average is 49.

Some facilities do turn it around. Recent “graduates” of the SFF programs include Willowwood Nursing Center in Flowery Branch, the government reports.


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