OIG Report: Incidents of Nursing Home Neglect Are Not Investigated

Nursing Home Negligence

America’s Emergency Rooms are Flooded with Injured Senior Citizens. Many of these Injuries Arise out of Unreported Nursing Home Neglect.

A recent federal government investigation by the Office of Inspector General has revealed that many incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect are not reported or investigated.

The OIG determined that 1 in 5 high risk hospital emergency room Medicare claims were a result of elder abuse or neglect. Many of these vulnerable senior citizens presenting to the E.R. with injuries reside in nursing homes.

The report concludes that nursing home neglect injuries inside facilities are grossly under reported. As a result, these injuries do not get investigated.

Understanding Nursing Home Neglect Injuries

Federal Government Investigation Reveals Common Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect InjuriesIn the sampled population for the investigation, head injuries were the most prevalent injury. These include subdural hematoma brain bleeds. Most brain injury cases that occur in nursing homes arise out of patient falls.

The second most common nursing home neglect injury was bodily injury, such as broken hips. This also include bed sores.

Rounding out the bottom are safety-based injuries and medical injuries, like prescription drug errors.

Other high risk nursing home neglect diagnoses were analyzed, such as fractures, gangrene, infection, sepsis and poisonings.

Do Nursing Homes Intentionally Fail to Report Abuse and Neglect?

Yes. The federal government investigation concluded that nursing homes routinely conceal neglect-based injuries in order to avoid mandatory reporting laws to state agencies and law enforcement:

We determined that SNFs [skilled nursing facilities] failed to report many of these incidents to the Survey Agencies in accordance with applicable Federal requirements. We also determined that several Survey Agencies failed to report some findings of substantiated abuse to local law enforcement. Lastly, we determined that CMS does not require all incidents of potential abuse or neglect and related referrals made to law enforcement and other agencies to be recorded and tracked in the Automated Survey Processing Environment Complaints/Incidents Tracking System. Preventing, detecting, and combating elder abuse requires CMS, Survey Agencies, and SNFs to meet their responsibilities. – OIG

Why Does it Matter if Nursing Home Neglect Gets Reported?

It is a matter of public policy that all incidents of nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect or injury inside skilled nursing facilities gets reported.

Injuries and wrongful deaths inside long term care facilities are tracked by the government. The idea behind this is, if a certain nursing home is awful and regularly killing residents, we want to shut down that nursing home. However, this entire system is based on accurate reporting of resident injury and death.

Without reporting the incidents, facilities are allowed to secretly hurt residents and go unpunished by state and federal watchdog agencies.

How You Can Report Nursing Home Neglect Injuries

Our law firm has compiled a comprehensive nursing home abuse reporting page. When in doubt, you should call your state’s department of health as well as law enforcement.

Senior Justice Law Firm Can Help

If your loved one suffered needlessly due to nursing home neglect, let our dedicated lawyers help. At Senior Justice Law Firm, we focus our practice on cases involving nursing home neglect allegations. With offices in multiple states, we can help your family achieve justice following an accident inside a nursing home, rehab center, memory care home or assisted living.

Call us now for a free consultation to see how we can help: 1-844-253-8919

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