Many Facilities Fail to Report Incidents of Nursing Home Abuse

Senior Care Centers Often Fail to Report Incidents of Nursing Home Abuse

incidents of nursing home abuseA new report from the inspector general for the US Department of Health and Human Services shows that skilled nursing and senior care centers often fail to report incidents of nursing home abuse that occur within their facility.

Federal regulations require nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, long-term care facilities, and senior living and care centers to report any and all reports of nursing home abuse to proper authorities, but the HHS investigation showed that only 53% of such facilities properly reported cases of incidents of nursing home abuse in 2012.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) also discovered that 76% of nursing homes had policies in place for reporting abuse and neglect accusations, as well as reporting the results of investigations into the nursing home’s conduct.

“We found that 85 percent of nursing facilities reported at least one allegation of abuse or neglect to OIG (the Office of Inspector General) in 2012,” the analysis with a sample size of 209 nursing facilities said.

The report further found that only 61% of facilities had documentation of compliance with federal nursing home abuse regulations.

Although approximately 24%, or 1 in 4, reports of nursing home abuse involved one resident abusing another, most nursing home abuse accusations – about 40% – involved employee nursing home abuse or neglect.

The OIG made several recommendations to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to increase care center compliance, including the need to “maintain policies related to reporting allegations of abuse or neglect; notify covered individuals of their obligation to report reasonable suspicions of crimes; and report allegations of abuse or neglect and investigation results in a timely manner and to the appropriate individuals, as required.”

The Strom Law Defends Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Signs of abuse and neglect to look for when your loved one is in a nursing home or residential care facility.    Nursing-Home patients experiencing the physical abuse of their caregivers may exhibit:

  • bruises, welts, burns
  • unexplained bone injuries and other physical injuries
  • repeated accidents
  • personal injuries left untreated

You may also notice:

  • withdrawal from family and friends
  • fear, uneasiness, anxiety
  • unexplained weight gain or loss
  • sudden loss of interest in living
  • a sudden decline of psychological health
  • signs of anxiety, distrust or fear toward their caregiver,
  • signs or symptoms of severe shock including the growth and development of tics such as rocking or refusing to speak
  • a desire to be alone.

You are not alone. If your loved one has physically suffered, or died wrongfully, due to neglect or abuse in a nursing home or residential care facility, you may have a nursing home abuse case. The attorneys at The Strom Law Firm, LLC, understand the sensitive nature of elder abuse cases, and will treat you with respect and compassion. It is important to fight elder abuse so you, your family, and others no longer suffer because of criminal behavior. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800

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