Nursing home abuse is a serious form of elder abuse. It occurs when a resident of a long-term care facility is harmed, either intentionally or unintentionally, by those in charge of taking good care of them.
Luckily, the government has laws in place to protect both residents of long-term care facilities and the people who report abuse at these facilities. The laws protecting people who report abuse are called nursing home whistleblower laws.
This article will discuss some basics about nursing home whistleblower laws so you can be more fully informed before initiating a legal claim. Further, if you have questions about how to become a nursing home whistleblower, you can reach out to our office at 888-375-9998. We can answer your questions and help you initiate the legal process if you decide to do so.
So, What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is more common than you might think. According to one study, around 24% of nursing home residents experience at least one instance of abuse during their time in a nursing home. As mentioned, nursing home abuse occurs when a resident of a nursing home facility is harmed by the people who are responsible for taking care of them. This harm can consist of physical harm, emotional abuse, financial abuse, or neglect.
Nursing home abuse could happen because of short staffing, lack of employee training, underpaid staff, poor management or supervision, or individual caregiver issues.
What Is the Law for Nursing Home Whistleblowers?
Nursing home whistleblower laws are rooted in two sets of law: The Nursing Home Reform Act and the False Claims Act. The Nursing Home Reform Act requires nursing home facilities to “provide services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.” The False Claims Act, on the other hand, is a federal law that subjects companies who receive funding from the federal government to civil liability if they obtain that funding through fraud or false pretenses.
So, when a nursing home company receives money from Medicaid or Medicare programs, they must be in substantial compliance with the Nursing Home Reform Act. Otherwise, they could be subject to civil liability for fraudulent billing or inadequate care.
The False Claims act further protects those wishing to report nursing home abuse by allowing them to come forward and act as whistleblowers. These whistleblowers are allowed to join the lawsuit along with the government, and they are given the ability to recoup a portion of the awarded damages if the lawsuit is successful. These types of lawsuits are called qui tam lawsuits.
How Can Senior Justice Law Firm Help?
If you or someone you know was a victim of nursing home abuse, you could be entitled to compensation for coming forward and reporting the abuse. At Senior Justice Law Firm, we have aided whistleblowers in filing qui tam lawsuits against nursing homes under the False Claims Act. We can also help you file a qui tam suit and help you seek the justice and compensation that victims of nursing home abuse deserve. Contact us today.« Previous PostNext Post »