Nursing homes have long had a reputation for providing less-than-stellar care to residents. Indeed, every day there are new allegations of Maryland nursing home abuse or neglect. However, according to a recent government study, the total number of instances of nursing home abuse and neglect is actually under-reported.
CNN recently discussed a newly released report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, concluding that one in five emergency room visits by nursing home patients is the result of abuse. The study analyzed over 37,000 emergency room admissions that were reported to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Also startling is the fact that “nursing homes frequently failed to report incidents of abuse to either CMS or local law enforcement, as required by federal regulators.”
The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services told reporters that he fears instances of nursing home abuse are under-reported and that CMS can do a better job preventing abuse and neglect by using available data to target facilities with recurring reports of misconduct.
The report is a follow-up study that was based on preliminary research conducted between 2015 and 2017. In the initial study, CMS analyzed nearly 35,000 claims, finding that almost 90% of them “were associated with evidence of potential abuse or neglect.”
What to Do if a Loved One Is at Risk
When a loved one reports that they are the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, family members should take the disclosure seriously. Similarly, loved ones should not ignore tell-tale signs of abuse or neglect, including:
- unexplained bruises or broken bones
- signs of restraint on a resident’s wrists or ankles
- frequently broken eyeglasses
- a noticeable increase in a resident’s anxiety about being left alone
- the presence of burns, scars, or welts
- a sudden and unexpected shift in the way the resident dresses or conducts themselves
Once a resident discloses that they are the victim of abuse or neglect, loved ones should take steps to remove the resident from the facility. It is also essential to save all documents pertaining to the resident’s admission and stay, including any incident reports that were generated by the facility. With permission, photographs can be taken to document the resident’s injuries. This evidence can help families hold the responsible parties accountable through a personal injury lawsuit.
Has Your Loved One Endured Abuse or Neglect While Residing in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you fear that they may have experienced abuse or neglect, contact the dedicated personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have over 20 years of experience handling claims against abusive nursing homes, and know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalf. We aggressively pursue the right of nursing home residents to be compensated for the injuries that have been inflicted upon them. To learn more about how we can help you with your situation, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.