With summer being officially over, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has received the August reports of nursing home inspections. These inspection reports include information on patient care and building inspections. If a facility is not following regulations during the inspection, the facility will be cited. The facility must then submit a plan of action in order to correct the issues that were found during the inspection, including a completion date of the corrections. The Department of Health will then conduct a surprise follow-up inspection to ensure the issues have been resolved. The inspection reports are posted to the Department of Health’s website 41 days after they are completed.

The August report showed 635 inspections were completed. Out of the 635 inspections, 522 were COVID-specific, and nine sanctions were issued against nursing home facilities. Possible sanctions can include a civil penalty, a ban on admissions, a license being revoked, and/or a facility being put on a provisional license, which will then require another inspection. Out of the nine sanctions in the August report, there were multiple issuances of provisional licenses and civil penalties totaling $84,125.

The good news is that the number of long-term care facility (LTCF) deaths due to COVID-19 has decreased. This information can be found on the department’s LTCF data page. As facilities continue to test where outbreaks are occurring through mandated universal testing, cases have remained steady. It is also important to note all Department of Health licensed nursing homes and DHS-licensed facilities completed universal testing before the State’s deadline.

If you are considering placing a family member or loved one into a nursing home, the Department of Health’s website can be a good resource.  If you or a loved one have complaints about a nursing home, you have options. You may file the complaints anonymously by calling 1-800-254-5164, fill out the online complaint form, email c-ncomplai@pa.gov, or send the complaint in the mail to the department.