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Department of Health highlights July 2020 nursing home inspection, sanction information amidst COVID-19 pandemic

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In the July 2020 report, Pennsylvania Department of Health nursing home surveyors conducted 330 inspections of nursing homes, including 295 complaint investigations. Of these, 227 were COVID-19 specific. In addition, one sanction was finalized against a nursing care facility, which included the issuance of a civil penalties totaling $9,250.

The department completed all COVID-19 infection control surveys by the July 31 deadline set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These surveys will be posted on the website 41 days after the survey exit date, allowing for time for facilities to provide responses and submit their plans of correction, as needed.

Individuals with complaints about a nursing home can file that complaint with the department in several ways. Complaints can be made anonymously by calling 1-800-254-5164, filling out the online complaint form, emailing c-ncomplai@pa.gov or sending the complaint in the mail to the department.

The number of newly reported long-term care facility deaths due to COVID-19 has decreased, as reflected in the long-term care facility graphs on the department’s LTCF data page. New cases have remained steady as facilities continue to test where outbreaks are occurring.

The department maintains a searchable database, https://sais.health.pa.gov/commonpoc/nhLocatorie.asp, which allows the public to view patient care surveys, building safety surveys, size of the nursing home, type of ownership and additional information about each of the nursing homes in the state. The department oversees 692 nursing homes and more than 88,000 beds within nursing homes in Pennsylvania, in addition to other facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, home care agencies and others.

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