Federal Government Attempts to Weaken Maryland Nursing Home Regulations Regarding Infectious Diseases

Nursing homes fill an important role in today’s society; as the population ages and life expectancy increases, more and more Americans are placing their loved ones in nursing homes to care for them when they are no longer able to care for themselves. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are safe for residents, and sometimes residents may suffer abuse or neglect from the individuals tasked with caring for them. While the federal government has regulations governing nursing homes and standards of care, the current administration has recently attempted to loosen these regulations, causing concern for Maryland nursing home residents.

The proposal to relax regulations governing nursing homes was introduced in July of 2019 but has been drawing particular attention recently due to the coronavirus. According to an article in the New York Times, the federal government’s proposed changes would loosen regulations established during the Obama administration meant to curb deadly infections and diseases in nursing homes. Specifically, the rule would eliminate the requirement that nursing homes employ at least one specialist in preventing infections. Infection-prevention specialists are currently supposed to be at all nursing homes in the country, ensuring that employees are washing their hands and following other safety procedures. Their role is considered especially important when considering that, every year, about 380,000 nursing home residents are killed by infections.

While this proposed change is of concern even without the current pandemic, the coronavirus illustrates the vulnerability of nursing homes to infectious diseases. For example, one nursing home in Washington state has lost 13 residents to coronavirus, and dozens of other residents and employees have gotten ill. National reports indicate that the elderly are particularly susceptible to the coronavirus, with a significantly higher death rate than the general public. Additionally, those living in nursing homes are less able to practice social distancing, increasing their risk. Thus, advocates are urging the federal government to withdraw the proposed changes, which could lead to increased medical neglect, less infection control, and more illnesses and deaths in nursing home populations.

While the full extent of the coronavirus is still unknown, nursing home residents across the country have already fallen ill. Many have required hospitalization, and some have even died. Maryland residents with loved ones in nursing homes should thus be on the lookout for instances of medical neglect in the nursing home. If a loved one falls ill or suffers a premature death due to medical neglect, they or their family may be able to recover financially in a civil negligence suit.

Contact A Maryland Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney

If your loved one was recently injured or suffered a premature death while living in a Maryland nursing home, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover funeral and burial costs, hospital bills, pain and suffering, and more. Contact the dedicated and experienced attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, today to discuss your case. We have experience taking on and beating Maryland’s largest nursing homes and have recovered over $55 million for our clients. To learn more, call today at 800-654-1949.

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