According to an article in Bloomberg News, the for-profit private nursing home industry overbills Medicare by 1.5 billion dollars a year by conducting unnecessary procedures and therapy on their patients. This, however, is not the only way that for-profit nursing homes have been using unlawful methods to increase profits. Nursing homes frequently engage in the understaffing of their facilities in an attempt to cut payroll costs and essentially place profits over people. Between the years of 2008 to 2012, federal prosecutors have brought 120 civil and criminal cases against nursing home facilities and other related people that have now been resolved. That is twice the number of cases that were brought in the five years prior to 2008.
One of the most egregious offenders was Skilled Health Care Group Inc., a company that operates 75 nursing homes in the United States. The company was charged with 11 counts of elder abuse at a nursing home in Eureka, California. Prior to the criminal charges being brought forth, Skilled Health Care Group settled six wrongful death civil suits between 2005 and 2012 in California’s Humboldt County. The criminal charges were stemming from incidents occurring at a skilled nursing facility in Eureka, California. This nursing home was one of the 22 company sites that was indentified by the court to be suffering from chronic understaffing and the jury returned a 677 million dollar judgment which was later brought down to 63 million dollars in a settlement. According to documents from the class action suit, patients were left unattended for hours at a time, soiling themselves and not being changed, and being denied meals, which led to suffering and dehydration and malnutrition.
The rise of for-profit institutions in the health care industry, especially with regard to skilled nursing home facilities has led to the cutting of costs that are absolutely necessary to run an efficient and well-maintained nursing facility that provides a high quality of care. At the same time, overbilling and the conducting of unnecessary or even dangerous medical procedures on residents has been on the rise. In the past three years, the U.S. justice department has settled civil fraud complaints against eight hospice companies that enrolled or retained patients that were in improving health and were not dying.
What this means for you and your loved ones is that sometimes, the care and well-being of patients are not being prioritized over low costs and profits. This, in turn, leads to a culture of cutting corners and lack of training, which can result in neglect, elder abuse, and even death. When for-profit nursing homes cut costs by understaffing, they are putting your loved one’s life at risk. Nearly all injuries that occur in skilled nursing facilities can be prevented with proper staff and training. Such injuries include pressure ulcers, malnutrition, dehydration, and those that result from falls.
The Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi has a team of skilled and experienced attorneys that passionately defend the rights of nursing home residents and their loved ones, who deserve to receive the highest quality of care possible. Our lawyers specialize in <a href=”http://www. yeroushalmilaw.com/nursing-home-neglect.html”>nursing home neglect and are committed to righting any wrongs that may have been committed against you or your loved ones by a skilled nursing facility. We will represent you and your loved ones with the zeal and vigor that is necessary to achieve favorable results for your neglect case. We have locations in both Southern California and Northern California and serve cities and communities across the state including Burbank, Glendale, and Hawthorne. Please contact us for a free consultation today.