According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, there are a total of 16,100 nursing homes in America with approximately 1.5 million patients residing in these facilities. Due to the rapidly growing baby boomer generation, the number of patients residing in these facilities is bound to increase. Although a majority of families conduct an abundant amount of research to ensure their loved ones are in a facility that guarantees them adequate quality of care; NBC news recently discovered that many “government official” websites have false information regarding staffing levels and skilled nursing facilities. According to NBC news, “Staffing levels reported by thousands of nursing homes on a widely-used government website were higher than the staff levels calculated by the Center for Public Integrity through an analysis of annual financial reports submitted by the homes, suggesting that consumers in those facilities may not be getting as many hours of skilled care as they expect.” Many nursing homes inflate the amount of staffing and individual resident care available to gain residents and increase profits at the expense of patient care.
Staffing levels have a direct correlation with the quality of care a resident receives. As NBC news confirms, “Close to 100 peer-reviewed, academic studies have shown that the amount of care, particularly that provided by registered nurses, is most strongly connected with residents’ quality of care.” A patient who does not receive acceptable quality of care is susceptible to injuries sustained from falls and pressure ulcers sustained from lack of re-positioning. In many instances, antipsychotics are used as a sedation method, which leaves patients in a nearly comatose state. All of these injuries can lead to infections and many times the untimely death of the neglected patient.
On government nursing home comparative websites, 80% of facilities across the country inflate their numbers to have a better appearance. A large amount of facilities may put on a show for those who are inspecting the nursing home. NBC news continues this thought by explaining, “Many homes work hard to prepare for these visits. As a result, critics say, those staffing levels may be artificially inflated.” Robyn Grant, director of public policy for National Consumer Voice was appalled to hear of these fraudulent findings, “We all recognize the data is flawed, but I am truly stunned by [the] findings and appalled that you’re finding this level of over-reporting.”
Patients are not receiving the acceptable amount of individualized care that they deserve. In Arizona, each patient receives less than 30 minutes of individual care, which is extremely alarming. NBC News continues this point by stating, “More than 700 facilities, including more than 250 nursing homes in Illinois, had daily care levels that were lower than the levels required by those state laws, according to the Center’s cost report analysis.”
Understaffing is a major component that leads to elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Although adequate quality of care should be a guarantee, it is not always the case. At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, an elite elder abuse and neglect law firm, we are constantly battling to ensure you and your loved ones rights are protected. If you believe that you or a loved one is a victim to elder abuse please contact us today for a free consultation. We serve communities throughout the state of California.