Deficiency Citations for Mental Health Care in Nursing Homes

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certifies approximately 17,000 nursing homes per year. When a facility does not meet a standard, a deficiency citation is issued. Using 1998 citations, we examined the structure and process characteristics of nursing homes that were associated with mental health deficiencies. Our findings showed that (a) some nursing homes have a high number of deficiencies in the area of mental health care; (b) these deficiencies do not appear to be associated with specific processes used in nursing homes; and (c) some structural factors such as staffing, private-pay occupancy, and Medicare occupancy appear to have an important influence on the number of mental health care deficiencies.