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Nursing Home Report Card — F

Posted on September 30, 2008

94 Percent of Nursing Homes Have Problems. That is the concensus of a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

94 percent of for-profit nursing homes were cited for deficiencies of care last year. Of that number about 17 percent had deficiencies that could cause actual harm or “Immediate jeopardy” to patients. About two-thirds of nursing homes are for-profit.

Problems cited include infected bedsores, medication errors, poor food, and abuse and neglect of patients.

So how do for-profit homes make their profit? Do they charge you more for expected quality care and then deliver less? The quality of a nursing home is entirely dependent on the ratio of nursing staff to patient. If you are shopping for a nursing home, that needs to be your number one question.

The inspector general’s report found 88 percent of non-profit homes were cited for deficiencies of care and 91 percent of government homes were cited. More than 37,000 complaints against nursing homes were received last year.

In addition, the Inspector General found some cases in which nursing homes billed Medicare and Medicaid for services that “were not provided, or were so wholly deficient that they amounted to no care at all.”

You can find out more about a nursing home in your area by checking with Medicare online and putting in your zip code and the distance you want to drive.

In Florida, the Agency for Health Care Administration has a Nursing Home Guide to find out what rating the state gives homes.

Cutting services to create profit can lead to unsupervised caregivers and has a direct impact on the quality of care your loved ones receive. When corporations cut corners people suffer. Call us at Farah & Farah for an evaluation of your claim. And check our Web site for more on elder neglect and nursing home abuse.