Nursing homes in Maryland are required to meet certain standards under federal and state regulations. For example, Maryland nursing homes must meet state laws and those facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid patients must also meet federal standards. The Maryland Department of Health’s Long Term Care Unit ensures that state and federal standards are met by conduct site visits, surveys, and investigations.
A nursing home may be liable for injuries to a resident if the home fails to follow federal and state regulations or if it fails to adopt and maintain adequate policies and procedures. Many nursing homes have been criticized for their responses to coronavirus and failures to take adequate measures to protect residents by, for example, failing to quarantine sick residents or to have their staff wear protective equipment. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued specific COVID-19 guidance in March.
If a Maryland nursing home resident becomes sick with COVID-19, the resident may be able to sue the facility for negligence or wrongful death if it failed to adequately protect residents or if it failed to properly care for the resident. A plaintiff in a Maryland nursing home case must show that the nursing home failed to meet its duty to provide adequate care for the resident based on the circumstances.
Inspections Show Nursing Homes Violated Federal Standards Post COVID-19
One of the largest chains in the nursing home industry, Life Care Centers of America, operated nursing homes that violated federal standards intended to stop the spread of diseases, one news source reported. Those nursing homes failed to meet federal standards even after COVID-19 infected and killed residents at the nursing homes. Government inspectors found violations of federal standards in at least ten nursing homes operated by Life Care, which does not include the Kirkland Life Care Center in Washington, which was the first reported COVID-19 nursing home outbreak in the country.
In inspection reports obtained by one newspaper, the reports showed that inspectors found violations in staff members failing to wash their hands, wear masks, or enforce social distancing. In one nursing home, the infection control log did not include two patients with fevers. In another, a blood pressure machine was taken from an isolation room into a healthy resident’s room without being sanitized. An inspector reported that the violations resulted “in the high likelihood of spreading coronavirus” among many residents. About one in four nursing homes in the country have reported at least one case of coronavirus. COVID-19 is especially dangerous to elderly individuals.
Contact a Maryland Nursing Home Attorney
If your loved one has been infected with COVID-19 and you believe the nursing home may be at fault, contact a Maryland nursing home attorney as soon as possible. It is important to obtain evidence in support of your case before it disappears. At the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, our Maryland nursing home attorneys are proud advocates for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect, medical malpractice, and other wrongful conduct. To set up a free consultation with a Maryland nursing home attorney, call us at (800) 654-1949 or contact us through our online form.