150 150 Lauren Ellerman

I read an article today – http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=43631

It’s interesting. Apparently, our federal government and its administrative agencies designed to regulate and police certain industries, such as Nursing Homes, have not been as strict, resolved, or hard on nursing homes as of late.

The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, in a report publihsed last month, claims that CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services) should have terminated the contracts of 55 nursing homes between 2000 and 2002 but failed to terminate contracts in 30 of those cases. In some cases, states did not refer problems with the nursing homes to CMS before the required termination date, the report finds. In other cases, CMS regional staff reported that they did not want to displace patients when they believed the facilities would return to compliance with federal rules, according to the report. “Contrary to our recommendation regarding facility termination, … (CMS) will continue to apply the remedy in a manner that it believes best protects the well-being of residents,” the report states.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said – “I’m sympathetic to the argument that termination would displace residents. But residents in immediate jeopardy at a nursing home need to be somewhere safer,” Grassley said, adding, “They’re the most vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Termination has to be real and enforced, or troubled nursing homes may have no other incentive to clean up their act” (Freking, AP/Long Island Newsday, 5/17). “

Well I agree Senator Grassley. Residents do need to be somewhere safe – and they need to be held accountable for NOT cleaning up their acts.

In our practice we ask families – “why did you put your loved one in that facility if everyone knew it was so bad?” Almost always – the answer is “There was no where else!”
That’s a sad dilemna to be in – but my advice, keep looking or try to arrange for something else. It will be too upsetting for your entire family if your loved one suffers abuse or neglect from a facility, you knew in your heart of hearts, was not a good place.

About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.

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