Each year in the U.S., thousands of patients are injured due to nursing home neglect or abuse in the form of infections, falls, medication errors, and more. Nearly 60 percent of the injuries sustained by nursing home residents are preventable injuries that cost Medicare billions of dollars according to a recent U.S. Department of Health & Human Services study.
Injuries Suffered in Nursing Facilities are Preventable
In compiling the data for the March 2014 HHS report, researchers analyzed more than 650 Medicare beneficiaries who were registered at a nursing home in August 2011 and remained for 35 days or less. Researchers found that approximately 11 percent experienced temporary injuries, 22 percent experienced severe injuries, and 60 percent of all injuries were preventable.
According to the study, much of the harm caused was due to delay or failure to provide necessary care, inadequate resident monitoring, and substandard treatment. Over half of the residents who were injured returned to a hospital for treatment, costing Medicare an additional $208 million in August 2011. The study concluded that for the fiscal year 2011, more than $2.8 billion was spent on hospital treatments for injuries caused in nursing home facilities.
In an effort to increase awareness and reduce the number of nursing home injuries, they made some recommendations. These included requiring that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality do the following: review nursing home practices by state surveyors, create a list of potential events to help the staff at nursing homes to better recognize injuries, and encourage nursing facilities to report adverse events to safety organizations.
Some of the most common signs of abuse or neglect include:
- Malnutrition and dehydration that may lead to muscle weakness, poor wound healing, an increased risk of infections, and a weakened immune system
- Infections and bedsores that may lead to infection, severe injuries, and death
- Falls that may lead to hip fractures, head injuries, permanent disability, and reduced quality of life
- Medicine mismanagement that may lead to changes in the mental and physical conditions of the patient
Gladstein Law Firm stands ready to help you. If you or someone you love has been injured due to nursing home neglect or abuse, contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC as soon as possible for a free consultation. We can review your situation, inform you of your legal rights and options, and work to help you or your loved one seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.