In November 2012, the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services health care inspectors reported that the for-profit nursing home industry in the United States was over billing Medicare to the tune of $1.5 billion every year. Over billing by nursing homes was the result of providing patients treatments they did not receive, or did not need.
Many families put an exorbitant amount of trust in Illinois nursing home facilities by placing the care of loved ones in the hands of professional caregivers. Unfortunately, many in the for-profit nursing home industry are prioritizing their profit margins far above patient care. While many of these nursing care facilities promote their services on providing the best possible care, the results of their actions speak to the contrary. Abuse and neglect in Illinois nursing homes are common.
Unnecessary Treatment and Improper Staffing
For the elderly patient in a nursing home, any type of unnecessary medical treatment or therapy can be extremely harmful. Many nursing homes do not hire enough registered nurses or have adequately trained staff to provide proper care for every patient. Often times, due to improper staffing, many patients go without monitoring and with little oversight of what is actually happening at the nursing home facility.
Understaffing often leads to overworked employees that make significant and sometimes deadly mistakes. Patients are often made vulnerable when missing their diligent medication schedules, or made to live with unnecessary catheters and breathing tubes. In addition, there are patients that remain immobile without access to assistance from a nurse to remain active, or for toileting, showering or other hygiene activity.
For-profit nursing homes often make their employees victims of the bottom line, by cutting their overtime hours as a way to control costs and increase revenues. Many nursing facilities have poorly developed care plans for their patients. Others provide inadequate staffing for the mobility of their residents. This often leads to patients suffering from pneumonia, malnutrition, bed sores (decubitus ulcers / pressure ulcers), and urinary tract infections. In some incidences, the abuse is so bad it leads to fraud, injuries and wrongful death.
Federal and Illinois Regulations Pertaining To Nursing Homes
Federal and Illinois state regulations are in place, with rules that govern a variety of things that nursing homes must follow. This includes requirements on minimal staffing, the number of times every patient is required to be turned every day. In addition, nutritional requirements, and the best methods for providing medication are detailed to ensure that every right of the resident is guaranteed. However, problems still arise.
Negligence on behalf of the management often leads to inefficient background checks, where healthcare providers are hired even though there is a history of neglect, abuse and/or violence. In some for-profit nursing facilities, even the minimum requirements are not properly followed, leading to negligence caused by nursing home directors, CNAs (certified nursing assistants) and registered nurses.
Inadequate staffing leads to nursing home abuse where the medications are not properly given, or given on time. It may be that the dosages are not correct or at the wrong rate. Immobile residents may not be turned correctly, or rotated on schedule every few hours. Consequently, these elderly patients can often develop deadly infections in spite of their unsuccessful cries for nursing staff assistance.
Patients are often left to lie in their own unchanged clothing and/or urine with the inability to get out of bed and ambulate on their own. Over time, continuous unhygienic conditions can lead to internal bleeding, traumatic brain injury, and the potential of developing weakened muscles and broken hips.
Cutting Operating Costs To Maximize Corporate Profits
Because many of these for-profit nursing facilities have stringent hiring practices and minimal training protocols, nurses are less efficient. These cost-cutting measures typically generate higher profits at the expense of providing proper care. Prioritizing the bottom line is usually more important than preventing patients from broken bones, bedsores, renal failure, bleeding, or even death because of nursing home negligence.Legal Options When a Loved One Has Suffered Injury Or Abuse At A ‘For-Profit’ Nursing Home
Our law firm concentrates on nursing home negligence and abuse. With collective medical malpractice experience, the skilled attorneys have received financial recompense for many victims of nursing home neglect. If a loved one has suffered wrongful injury caused by nursing home neglect or abuse, it is essential to contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC at (888) 424-5757 for a no-obligation, free initial consultation to discuss the merits of a claim for financial compensation.