The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that more than 90% of nursing homes in the United States were cited for violating federal standards every year for the past three years according to an article in The Seattle Times. The DHHS report also cites statistics which shows that for-profit facilities have a higher percentage of violations than those run by non-profit organizations or government entities.
Almost 20 percent of the nursing homes lacked the essential elements of care so that patients were in immediate jeopardy or experienced actual harm said the report by Daniel Levinson, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. The most common violations included improper storage and distribution of foods, accident hazards, lack of services, medication errors, infected bedsores, poor nutrition and abuse and neglect.
Medicare is putting pressure on nursing homes by inspecting them more frequently and increasing safety requirements. More problems are being identified while at the same time the level of care may be improving because of pressure from Medicare, the press and lawsuits.
The for-profit nature of nursing homes sometimes make them take shortcuts which hurt patients but increase profits. Often we see inadequate staff coverage, inadequate training and inadequate supervision to be the cause of many problems. In Washington State, there are approximately 13,000 abuse reports a year involving senior citizen. Several laws have been introduced to the Washington State Legislature which would increase punishment to those who harm our older citizens and provide more coordination between agencies. In the United States Senate, two bills — the Elderly Justice Act and the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007— aim to prevent, detect and prosecute people who neglect and exploit older people and perform criminal screening of people who work in nursing homes.
If one of your loved ones has been suffered a serious injury or illness due to nursing home abuse or neglect, you should contact The Farber Law Group. We have more than 40 years experience in successfully bringing suit against nursing homes for abuse and neglect; We will work to insure your loved ones rights are protected.
Contact The Farber Law Group today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
See our Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Resources.