of homes cited for
violations or that have substantiated complaints made against them and
we maintain an Honor Roll of places found to be deficiency-free.
Below is a description of events that led to the founding of
MemberoftheFamily.net, followed by comments from site users.
1996, during a routine visit to one of his patients in a Maryland
nursing home, Dr. Edward C. “Terry” Watters noticed that her
sight-threatening condition had worsened since his last visit. He
discovered that his orders for treatment had not been followed, and as
he was noting this in the patient’s chart, a staff member asked him
not to do so because that would “cause problems” for the home—financially and with state reporting agencies. The staff member
exhibited no sympathy for any pain the patient might be experiencing
because of the failure to follow the treatment regimen.
During the course of several visits, Terry noted in the chart
additional times when the prescribed regimen hadn't been followed and
confronted the staff about the problem. The last straw came when a
staff member informed Terry that his notes had been removed from the
chart because they would be a "red flag" to state auditors.
(Dr. Watters subsequently learned that another patient in the home had
recently died and that some of the evidence also suggested
falsification of records, in this case regarding the details of the
Dr. Watters knew that the standards of care had been violated and the
patients had suffered greatly because of this. He drew up a plan of
action to help reduce the likelihood of such incidents in the future.
He and a partner, Dennis Steele, learned how to petition for
government reports about nursing homes—among them the federal Online
Survey Certification and Reporting (OSCAR) 3 and 4 data—and how to
read them. As they assembled the facts and ran statistical analyses, a
bleak picture emerged of understaffing, physical abuse, untreated
bedsores, and coldhearted decision-making by home operators and state
officials charged with monitoring facilities.
MemberoftheFamily.net first made its data available to the Veterans
Administration in Washington, D.C, and North Carolina, analyzing for
the agency government reports about nursing homes in which veterans
reside. Now 22 Veterans Administration offices across the country
subscribe to our service. Since 1999, we have made our research about more
than 16,000 nursing homes available to the general public, providing
easy-to-understand information from state and federal government
One of the site’s most useful sections is the
National Watch List
of all the nursing
homes in the country that have been cited in government reports for
causing "Actual Harm," Severity Code "G" or higher. We
have also added a Registry of U.S. Nursing Homes, which lists all the
Medicare-and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in the country.
Comments from Site Users
MemberoftheFamily.net receives numerous emails and letters of support each week
from families and individuals. Administrators also contact the site,
sometimes to say thanks for helping to improve the industry and
sometimes to discuss or question reported survey results. Below are a
few sample comments from
would just like to take a moment to thank you for this information.
Thanks for your time and information". - H S, February 27, 2009
"This is very
helpful, to know that there is a group paying attention. I pray
for the residents who do not have anyone to look out for them. Thank
you for the great information and for all you do". - M J, December
7 , 2008
"Thank you so much for your insight. I ordered the book Danger Zone
and am looking forward to reading it. I am glad that I found your
organization". – S H, December 6, 2008
Located in Severna Park, Maryland, MemberoftheFamily.net is not
affiliated with any other organization. All our efforts to date have
been self-funded. Continuing this effort is a daunting task. We will
need expanded support and funding as we carry this work forward. If
you feel you can help us in any way, please
Dr. Watters and Dennis Steele have written a book, Danger Zone:
Unlock the Secrets of Nursing Home Medical Records and Protect Your
Loved One, that will help families become better advocates for
relatives in nursing homes.
MOTF now also provides current
online reports that cover state survey results, substantiated
complaints and Quality Indicators for Medicare/Medicaid certified