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U.S. government to address nursing home abuse and negligence

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2022 | Nursing Home Abuse

Many people in New York and across the United States need to place a loved one in a nursing home. They do this because the level of care the person needs is beyond what they can provide. It is also necessary when a person is at an age where they cannot live on their own.

Regardless of the reason a person moves to a nursing home, there is a fundamental level of trust placed in these facilities. They are expected to have trained staff, care about the residents and make sure they receive everything they need to live a fruitful life. In recent years, however, there is greater scrutiny over the danger to nursing home residents. The health crisis brought it to light, but there were issues beyond that that need to be addressed. The United States government is now taking steps to hold facilities accountable.

Nursing homes are expected to improve and follow rules for quality

The federal government is moving forward with a plan for nursing homes to face penalties if they do not reach minimum quality standards and make necessary improvements. Nursing homes that have been found to provide substandard care will be under greater oversight from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Its Special Focus Facility (SFF) Program will be increasingly strict.

Since nursing homes often rely on federal funding to stay in operation, the SFF will expect the improvements to be made or funding will be stopped. It will take two warnings before they are no longer eligible for the federal funding. If facilities do not show any improvement and do not comply with the rules, the penalties can worsen. Staffing is one example of where the SFF will place its focus as staff issues are a common factor in abuse whether that is due to not having enough people working or hiring untrained people with a problematic past.

Even with government intervention, nursing homes can still be negligent

Although it is undeniably positive that there will be greater attention paid to how nursing homes operate and people who might be at risk for nursing home abuse or negligence will be accorded more protection, the challenges remain. It is inevitable that some forms of mistreatment will be missed and people need to think about their options. Having help with a full investigation and taking the necessary action to file a legal claim requires guidance. Consulting with experienced professionals can be useful with these cases.