As the state moves towards annual inspections on or after January 1, 2019 and continues to reform their inspection processes, facilities should anticipate their operations will be reviewed with greater frequency and scrutiny. While not all state inspections and investigations result in citations, according to DSS’s Quality Assurance Unit between 2016 and 2017 the number of citations issued to RCFEs did increase by 2,438.
The Choose Well Team hears from providers that not all citations issued by the state tell a complete story of the incident nor do they reflect the true nature of the facility’s operations. As a result, the Choose Well Program offers facilities a number of ways to balance their Choose Well Score to create a more complete public profile for families and professionals considering placement.
Refresher on the Choose Well Scoring Methods
The Choose Well Rating System is based on a rolling 5 years of state inspection and complaint data for a facility. If a facility receives a citation in any of the 70+ regulations or code sections mapped into the 11 Choose Well Quality Measures between the years of 2013 and 2018, then their Choose Well Score will be affected.
Facilities that join the Choose Well Program with citations, or those that experience a drop in their Choose Well score due to a recent state inspection, should absolutely be taking advantage of the Choose Well Program’s Bonus Point system and the Provider Comment section.
The Choose Well Program offers facilities two types of bonus points.
The first is bonus points earned by uploading 5 key documents. These key documents give families important information they would not be able to find elsewhere. The documents and bonus points for each are as follows:
- Price List (2 points) – Most families have a budget and need to know what the cost of services are at your facility. This document gives families details about basic rates, levels of care, and the cost of additional services.
- Fall Mitigation Program (1 point) – This is a document describing how your facility protects residents against falls and outlines your procedures for when falls occur. You can check out the following website to help you create this document – USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Fall Prevention Center of Excellence.
- Infectious Disease Control Policy (1 point) – This document describes how your facility manages infectious disease outbreaks, like the flu, and how you protect against the spread of disease to staff and other residents. The CDC website has prevention tools and checklists related to the control of infectious diseases like the flu, C. difficile, etc. You can use these resources to create this document – CDC link.
- License and Waivers (1/2 point) - Your state issued license and any approvals for specialty care, i.e. Hospice Waiver, Delayed Egress, etc. are helpful for families looking for certain types of care. These bonus points might be the easiest to get, since you already have these documents. Uploading them to your Choose Well Profile or emailing them to our team to upload for you is quick and easy – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dementia Plan of Operation (1/2 point) – Facilities that advertise Dementia Care Programming must include in their Plan of Operations a brief narrative description of their philosophy and procedures for dementia care. Specific provisions for this plan can be found in Title 22, Section 87706. Using this as a guide, facilities that care for any residents with dementia, can craft a document to help families learn more about the type of dementia care you strive to provide.
The second way the Choose Well Program offers bonus points to facilities is for each Substantial Compliance earned during a state-required inspection (Annual Random, 3-year, 5-year). Facilities receiving no citations during one of these inspections receive 2 points added to their overall score.
The maximum score a facility can earn is a 100. Even if your facility has a score of 100 now, having these bonus points waiting in the wings is a good idea should you receive a citation during a future inspection or complaint investigation.
The Provider Comment Section can be found at the bottom of a facility’s Facility Rating Details Tab (See Image). This section gives facilities an opportunity to invite a discussion with potential residents about any citations you have received. For example, perhaps you received a citation but have since corrected it and remain proactive to avoid a reoccurrence or maybe you have appealed the citation. This is the section where you can factually describe your attention and commitment to running a compliant facility.
The Choose Well Program has been designed to be a place where consumers and facilities can exchange essential information, free of charge. Facilities are encouraged to take full advantage of their profile pages. And, when in doubt, turn to the Choose Well Team for help. Your success is San Diego’s success and vice versa.