Nursing Home Neglect, Abuse On The Rise At For Profit Care Homes
Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) March 12, 2013 - Nursing home abuse is more prevalent at “for profit” facilities.
“As more nursing homes convert to for-profit facilities, it appears there is a concomitant rise in patient abuse and neglect, questionable spending and even fraud allegations. In short, when a nursing home becomes solely focused on making money, this tends to affect patient care. It appears non-profit facilities do not have the same level of claims aimed at them,” said Michael Smith, an Arkansas injury lawyer and Arkansas accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Arkansas personal injury lawyer.
A recent Bloomberg News investigation revealed about 70 percent of the thousands of nursing homes in the U.S. were headed up by corporations whose main reason to be was to make money. In fact, making money was more important that providing even the basic standard care to home residents. Additionally, roughly 78 percent of the yearly income of U.S. nursing homes in 2010, $105 billion, was raked in by for-profit facilities. That turns out to be a six percent increase over 2002’s statistics.
“Even more interesting is the discovery that the federal government actively prosecuted more than 120 criminal and civil cases involving assisted living facilities and nursing homes. This figure is double what it was about five years ago,” Smith added.
Many of the claims pursued by the federal government include false claims for treatment billed, but not delivered, or expensive treatments that were not were considered to be medically necessary. These claims aside, they were indicative of a deeper, more disturbing issue, patient neglect and abuse.
Consider the example of one of the largest care home corporations in the nation, based in California. They oversee roughly 75 percent of all U.S. for-profit nursing homes. In 2012 the corporation faced charges for 11 counts of elder abuse at one of their facilities. The same corporation also had six wrongful death lawsuits filed by residents of another of their facilities. “Something is wrong with that picture,” indicated Smith.
What is wrong with the picture is that for-profit nursing homes are set-up to make money, which means their decisions are what happens to be the best for the bottom line; not what is best for patients in their care. There are approximately 1.5 million residents in nursing homes across the nation. Most of the residents have physical and/or mental problems, and they need proper care; not sub-standard care that cuts corners and puts them at an even higher risk.
“Are you worried about a relative in care? Speak up. Call me. Together, we can do something about it,” added Smith.
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