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Several nursing homes make watch list

Many nursing homes in Missouri and elsewhere rely heavily on income from Medicaid and Medicare, the federal government's programs that pays most medical bills for elderly and low-income patients. As part of their agreement to take Medicaid and Medicare patients, these homes must follow detailed safety and patient care standards and submit themselves to inspection from time to time.

While most homes that get inspected occasionally discover that they have a few areas to work on, there are a handful that wind up on a list of facilities that are being closely monitored by the federal government. This list can be thought of as a form of probation for these homes. They can either improve their practices, or else they may wind up being ineligible to take patients insured through government programs.

Homes get placed on this list for a number of reasons. In some cases, there are very serious safety issues. Unfortunately, there are several facilities in Missouri and Kansas that made the list, including one in the Kansas City area and one in a city about an hour from Kansas City.

While being on the list does not mean that the home's staff was negligent or committed medical malpractice with respect to any one patient, those in the area who have loved ones in these homes should pay careful attention to how well their relatives or friends are being cared for. If there is reason to believe a beloved patient has been injured through improper care, compensation through the legal system may be sought.

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