What is Nursing Home Abuse?

There are close to 17,000 nursing homes in the United States providing care to nearly 1.7 million people. If current rates continue, it is estimated that 3 million people will live in nursing homes by 2030. Of the 17,000 nursing homes currently operating in the US, approximately 70% are owned by for-profit companies. 

Unfortunately, many of these for-profit companies put profits over resident safety. A 2011 report by the University of California San Francisco concluded that poor quality of care is the norm in many nursing homes, especially among largest for-profit nursing home chains. The study found that the top 10 for-profit nursing home chains had lower staffing and higher deficiencies than comparable non-profit and government facilities.

Together, these for-profit companies had the sickest residents, but their total nursing hours were 30 percent lower than non-profit and government nursing homes. Moreover, the top chains were well below the national average for RN and total nurse staffing, and below the minimum nurse staffing recommended by experts. 

The 10 largest for-profit chains were cited for 36 percent more deficiencies and 41 percent more serious deficiencies than the best facilities. Deficiencies include failure to prevent pressure sores, resident weight loss, falls, infections, resident mistreatment, poor sanitary conditions, and other problems that could seriously harm residents.

What injuries result from nursing home abuse?

Nursing home patients may find themselves subject to dozens of adverse conditions through no fault of their own. Bed sores, pressure ulcers, falls, fractures, malnutrition and dehydration are some of the more prominent types of injuries to which elderly patients may be subjected by negligent nursing home staff.  It is a violation of Federal and Colorado law for any person, including facility staff, volunteers, visitors, family members or guardians, or another resident, to neglect or abuse a nursing home resident.

What makes the nursing home abuse claim unique?

Nursing home lawsuits require knowledge of federal and state laws and regulations governing nursing homes, as well as medical knowledge and access to reputable expert witnesses.  Like medical malpractice lawsuits, lawsuits against nursing homes often allege that a nurse, physician or other responsible medical provider failed to meet an applicable standard of care when providing medical or other treatment or services to a nursing home resident.

Claims governed by federal and state law

In order to file a nursing home lawsuit in Colorado, you are first required to have the case reviewed by an independent expert.  For nursing home claims, this medical expert must have knowledge and experience with the standard of care and proper operation of a nursing home, and must be willing to state that there is a good-faith basis for the claim.

Any nursing home receiving funding from Medicare or Medicaid (commonly referred to as “Medicare or Medicaid certified facilities") must sign a “Provider Agreement” obligating them to operate their facility in compliance with applicable federal regulations including the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act.

 Under the Nursing Home Reform Act, all residents in nursing homes are entitled to receive quality care and live in an environment that improves or maintains the quality of their physical and mental health.

Specifically, nursing homes are required by Federal law to "provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident." (42 U.S. Code § 1396r(b)(2)).  Additionally, each facility that is Medicare or Medicaid certified must post a “Resident’s Bill of Rights” in a conspicuous place within the facility.

For answers about your nursing home abuse claim, call for a free consultation

We understand that each nursing home injury is as unique as each client.  We make it a point to answer all the questions of our clients, and we address each concern in a professional and compassionate manner. Our ability to give the highest level of personal attention to each client is essential to our success. Chalat Hatten & Banker has cultivated knowledge and experience in determining what the negligent care cost in terms of medical bills, lost wages, adverse living conditions, and psychological trauma.  To speak with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer, call our office today 303-861-1042.

How we helped a family win a nursing home abuse case

Negligent Nursing at Vibra Hospital

This was a wrongful death case arising from medical / nursing malpractice.  Barbara Griffin died in the early morning hours of September 25, 2010, only 12 hours after being admitted to Vibra Hospital for long-term acute management, tracheostomy weaning, and rehabilitation...

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