State Nursing Home Quality Improvement Programs: Site Visit and Synthesis Report. Early Warning/Rapid Response Teams


The Early Warning System sends surveyors on unannounced facility visits to identify facilities with financial or quality of care problems. Rapid response teams visit facilities identified by the early warning system. It is illegal for anyone to warn a facility of an unannounced inspection visit. These visits may be on nights, weekends, and holidays. They may also visit facilities that request assistance. They are not deployed for the purpose of helping a facility prepare for a regular survey. AHCA investigates serious quality of care complaints for residents still in a facility with a current conditional rating, or under special appraisal review within 72 hours from intake (previous policy--within 90 days). AHCA also changed the process for all other complaints against homes with a current conditional rating or under appraisal review by investigating within 10 days instead of within 90 days.

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