Even as the government eases penalties for nursing home abuse and neglect, nursing home injuries are on the rise. The Trump administration has been gradually introducing new enforcement guidelines in recent months. The new regulations effectively reduce or eliminate fines on long-term care facilities for safety violations that result in nursing home injuries and even deaths. The industry’s lobbying group, American Health Care Association, has been working to ease enforcement rules for years. Nursing home and assisted living facility owners say that too much regulation prevents caregivers from doing their jobs.
Patient safety advocates warn that the new regulations will mean even more nursing home injuries for the most vulnerable people in society. Tobey Edelman of the Center for Medicare Advocacy said that nursing homes need more regulation, not less. “They’ve pretty much emasculated enforcement, which was already weak,” he told the New York Times.
Nursing Home Injuries from Abuse and Neglect
The relaxation of safety rules comes as nursing home neglect and abuse injuries and deaths are increasing. The Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that nearly 25% of Medicare recipients are victims of preventable nursing home neglect and abuse. Most seniors pay for nursing home care through Medicare. Nursing home and other long-term care facility residents are vulnerable to injuries from a variety of sources, from medical malpractice to physical abuse from staff or other residents.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that many nursing homes are negligent in preventing infections. The report said that regulators rarely fined nursing homes for violating safety procedures that could prevent many serious infections. The Good Samaritan Retirement Home in Williston, Florida has a history of safety violations and was recently shut down by regulators. Drug companies often encourage overmedication of nursing home residents.
The latest incident of physical abuse in Florida involved the beating of an 86 year-old resident by another resident. And there have been numerous cases of staff assaulting patients and residents. Although incidents like these are crimes, they are rarely reported to authorities. New Jersey has recently enacted a law requiring workers at nursing homes to report cases of abuse and neglect to police.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is vital to watch out for their welfare. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the Orlando personal injury attorneys at Martinez Manglardi. Call 407-846-2240 for a free consultation. Offices throughout Central Florida.