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Medicare Reduces Quality Ratings at Over 1,000 Nursing Homes

 Posted on July 31, 2018 in Nursing Home Abuse

Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysJust weeks after news outlets exposed the often deplorable conditions in many nursing homes managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, now a new story about inadequate nursing home conditions is making headlines. Medicare rates nursing homes on a five-star system, with five stars being the best and one star being the worst. Nursing homes' failures to keep the facilities adequately staffed with registered nurses or to provide records showing staffing information result in a lower score. Medicare just significantly reduced its quality ratings in 1,400 United States nursing homes because of concerns regarding staffing.

Governing Bodies Cannot Rely on Self-Reported Data from Nursing Homes

Medicare began gathering and disseminating statistics on nursing home care after the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) was instituted. Before the ACA required Medicare to keep tabs on nursing homes, the program relied solely on self-reported and unverified information from nursing homes. Unfortunately, it seems as if nursing homes were not entirely truthful about the number and quality of staff at their facilities. After Medicare received payroll archives from nursing homes, it became apparent that many facilities were critically understaffed.

Medicare Requires At Least One Nurse to Be on Duty

Payroll records reveal that many nursing homes do not have an adequate number of staff supervising and caring for residents. Medicare requires that at a minimum, one registered nurse must be available for at least eight hours a day in nursing home facilities. Nurses are the highest-trained caregivers involved directly in patient care at long-term care facilities and are an irreplaceable asset. In addition to helping nursing home residents with medical needs, nurses are also tasked with supervising other caregivers and aides. Many of the nursing homes which received lowered ratings were given the deduction because the facility did not meet the registered nurse requirement.

Poorly Trained Staff and Inadequate Numbers of Staff Can Cause Injuries and Even Death

Residents in a nursing home are there because they cannot care for themselves. For some, it is a physical disability which causes them to need 24/7 care, while for others, it is a mental condition like dementia that necessitates round-the-clock care. Many nursing home residents have a combination of physical and mental illnesses. When nursing homes, assisted living homes, or other long-term care facilities skimp on staff, the result is residents who are not adequately cared for. This can lead to residents being left in unnecessary pain or even going without water and food. Inadequate staff can cause residents to be depressed, anxious, dehydrated or malnourished, and have worsened medical conditions.

Injury Attorneys Helping Neglect and Abuse Victims in Cook County and Throughout Illinois

If your loved one has been mistreated by a nursing home, you may be able to seek financial compensation for the damages caused. Contact the experienced Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Schwartz Injury Law for help with your case. For a free consultation, contact us today at 312-535-4625.



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