Is Nursing Home Abuse Going Unreported?

Photo of a care worker mistreating a senior woman

Over 1.4 million people are living in nursing homes across the United States.  This is why safety officials all over the country are making it a priority to ensure America’s nursing homes are safe.  A new government audit has revealed shocking results regarding the quality of care provided to nursing home residents, highlighting the importance of setting and maintaining high standards of care.

Unreported Nursing Home Abuse May Be More Common Than We Thought

The inspector general’s office of Health and Human Services conducted an audit recently. The office looked at a large sampling of cases from 33 states, and what it found was disturbing. Out of 134 cases where hospital ER records indicated the possible abuse or neglect of nursing home residents, 38 cases may have gone unreported to police.

Federal law requires that suspected incidents of nursing home abuse be promptly reported to local law enforcement. However, in 28 percent of the cases investigators audited, they could find no evidence that this had been done. Furthermore, from the 96 remaining cases that were reported, investigators could find no evidence that these incidents were reported immediately.

The inspector general’s report goes on to say that Medicare’s procedures to handle these potential abuse cases are inadequate. The inspector general is now urging Medicare to review its billing records to identify more potential abuse cases that may not have been reported.

This is why it is so important to monitor the conditions our loved ones are subjected to in nursing homes. Government agencies are not always reliable in identifying when something is wrong in a nursing home, which means it can be up to you to act when something is wrong. The New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyers at Keefe Law Firm can keep you informed about what to do if your loved one is being abused. Contact us if you have any questions about unexplained injuries to your loved ones in nursing homes.

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