US Health Department Says Nursing Home Abuse Underreported

Nursing Home Abuse Unreported

 In Blog, Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse is a National Problem That is Under-Reported

Reports released in June 2019 by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG), indicate that nursing home abuse in the United States remains a problem that is “under-reported.”

An article posted by ABC Action News discusses some of the reports and their findings and suggests that nursing home occurs at an alarming rate across the nation. One report analyzed more than 37,000 “high-risk hospital ER claims” made to CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) by nursing home residents in 2016. The study discovered that 1 in 5 visits to the ER by nursing home patients is the result of nursing home abuse. Of course, this number only reflects claims to CMS and does not include claims processed through private insurance.

Nursing Homes Often Fail to Report Abuse, Violating Federal Regulations

This report also found that nursing homes “frequently failed to report incidents of abuse to either CMS or local law enforcement, as required by federal regulators.” Both CMS and the OIG agreed that the CMS use available data in a way that tracks abuse and better ensures the safety of its beneficiaries. There needs to be better monitoring of the nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The Problem of Abuse in Nursing Homes Is Nationwide

Despite the rules, regulations, and publicity surrounding nursing home abuse, it continues to be a problem across the nation. During the last 4 or 5 years, some of the most horrific nursing home abuse cases have come to light in nursing homes in Arizona, Minnesota, Florida, and more.

  • In 2014, in a facility in MN, a nurse/employee who had previously been suspended by the facility because of complaints of sexual abuse, was caught raping an 86-year-old female Alzheimer patient.
  • In 2018, in one of the most nationally publicized nursing home abuse cases, a caregiver in an Arizona facility was arrested for sexual assault after a 29-year-old vegetative patient gave birth to a child that matched his DNA.
  • In 2019, an employee of a Florida assisted living home was arrested for sexually assaulting a dementia patient after she was found in his room in nothing but her bra.

These cases are particularly egregious, resulted in criminal charges, and received widespread attention. However, many instances of nursing home abuse and neglect occur quietly, with the victims suffering with little to no assistance.

Call Our Lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP if You See Signs of Abuse in a Nursing Home

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, be on the lookout for signs of abuse. Many times, it is up to visitors to recognize that someone is being neglected or mistreated. You may have to be an advocate for someone who can’t speak for or protect themselves.

If you suspect abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact our attorneys at Alonso Krangle, LLP. We can assist you in making sure your loved one is safe and can help hold the nursing home responsible for any injuries caused by abuse. Call us at 516-350-5555 to discuss your nursing home abuse case.