Trying to choose the right nursing home for a loved one can be a very difficult endeavor. First and foremost, family members often want to make sure that the loved one will be safe and cared for in the facility. Family members want to make sure that the loved one receives the medical care that he or she needs. Other considerations may entail the quality of facility, amenities and social activities that are made available to the loved one.
When choosing a nursing home for a loved one, family members may be swayed by the ratings that particular facility receives. It is important that family members understand the criteria that is used to provide a nursing home with a certain rating. A recent news article indicates that the ratings provided to nursing homes may not always be totally accurate. Rather, these ratings may be a reflection of certain biases that major organizations like Medicare tend to have.
Recent Inaccurate Medicare Ratings Provided to Nursing Homes
A recent news article published by The New York Times indicates that nursing home ratings may provide misleading information for consumers. The New York Times conducted an examination of the criteria that Medicare uses to provide ratings to nursing homes. The Times found that Medicare does not currently consider complaints filed by consumers or fines imposed upon nursing homes by government entities. A luxury nursing home, Rosewood, received high ratings despite the fact that the facility had received a significant fine for causing the death of one of its patients. Rosewood had received a $100,000 fine for causing the death of a woman who received an overdose of a blood thinner.
Numerous Complaints Filed Against Rosewood
The Times examination also revealed that over 100 consumer complaints had been filed against Rosewood from 2009 to 2013. Another website tracking complaints, the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, claims that Rosewood has been the subject of 162 consumer complaints. This figure is over twice the average number of complaints that are filed for nursing homes in California.
Interviews with Residents Reveal the Reality
Individuals from California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform also interviewed individuals who currently reside at Rosewood. The interviews indicated that residents believed that the home warranted a lower rating than five stars. The individuals felt that there was a shortage of quality staff workers to assist them. They also felt that the home did not provide access to basic supplies and necessities. Individuals also indicated that they thought the conditions in Rosewood were not always sanitary.
Improving the Conditions of Nursing Homes
Nursing homes across the U.S. need to improve upon the care provided to residents. Currently, research indicates that one in three residents are the victims of abuse in U.S. nursing homes. These entities must develop a greater commitment to the care of patients rather than earning profits. If the condition of nursing homes continues to decline, residents will continue to suffer.
Ensuring Patients Receive Quality Care
Under federal law, patients have the right to receive quality care. This means that a nursing home is under a legal obligation to hire enough staff workers to care for patients. When a nursing home is understaffed, patients can be left without adequate care. They may not receive the proper nutrition that they require. They may not receive the medications that they need. In addition, nursing homes may resort to the use of chemical or physical restraints when they are understaffed. If you notice that your loved one is not receiving the care that he or she needs from staff workers, it may be time for you to file a complaint. Your loved one’s nursing home may need to hire additional staff members to deliver proper care that he or she requires.
Contact nursing home abuse lawyers today to receive immediate help for your loved one. Our attorneys are ready to investigate the circumstances behind your loved one’s case.