Nursing Home Abuse a Huge Problem
According to a new government review, 22 percent of all nursing home residents experience some form of adverse event and another 11 percent are injured due to mistakes made by others, most of which were preventable. The report, published in February 2014 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, examined data pertaining to adverse events and nursing home abuse affecting Medicare beneficiaries in healthcare facilities between 2008 and 2012, where patients suffered harm following medical care.
Preventable mistakes that are made in nursing homes often result in additional costs for Medicare as the hospital or nursing home may receive additional reimbursements for treating the damage that had been caused. The federal government would allegedly benefit from large savings should the number of these events decrease.
Researchers used the study to analyze the cost of mistakes, how many mistakes are made across the country each year and whether these incidents were preventable. Data suggested that 11 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were temporarily harmed during their time in nursing homes, 22 percent suffered nursing home abuse while in these facilities and that nearly one-third of all patients in nursing homes are affected by abuse or other adverse events. Researchers also found that 59 percent of these medical mistakes were most likely or certainly preventable.
Additionally, more than half of nursing home patients who had been harmed and required hospitalization cost $2.8 billion for Medicare in 2011 alone. The report calls for nursing facilities to use some of the same methods used by hospitals to reduce the likelihood of preventable mistakes will occur, to make efforts to reduce nursing home neglect and abuse and to be made more aware of common adverse events. Researchers also called on nursing homes to be more forthcoming in the reporting of medical mistakes to patient safety organizations.
Do You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
If you or a loved one is currently suffering from nursing home abuse, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Attorney Group understands how devastating these situations can be, both for the victim and his or her family, so we can help answer your questions and connect you with an affiliated attorney who can help you pursue a claim. You may be eligible to recover damages for your suffering, including medical expenses, pain and suffering and wrongful death if you lost a loved one due to nursing home abuse.