An analysis of the records from the US Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMMS”, the authority which regulates nursing homes in the United States) shows that serious reprimands for dangerous conditions at public nursing homes have increased 22% over a six year period starting in the early 2000’s. The records also point out an even greater dangerous trend in privately-owned nursing homes: “according to data attributed to the CMMS, residents of nursing homes held by private equity suffer more from depression, loss of mobility and the loss of ability to bathe, and dress themselves.” With the even greater demand for nursing home facilities that is projected to be coming soon, officials believe that better detection and reporting methods may be necessary to ensure the safety and quality of the lives of patients.
Massachusetts officials have made similar recommendations after multiple complaints were made asserting that the state was not sufficiently investigating and regulating nursing home facilities. According to wcvb.com, Dr. Monica Bharel, the Public Health Commissioner for Massachusetts, has said that she intends to promote greater transparency and accountability when it comes to nursing homes. Last year, the Massachusetts Health Department received 11,000 complaints to report problems with some of Massachusetts’s 400 nursing homes. Dr. Bharel has helped to create a unit of investigators to make unannounced inspections of nursing homes. She is also in the process of creating a new online system that more effectively allows family members to file complaints if they believe that one of their loved ones is being abused.
While greater transparency and reporting methods may help to decrease the rates of neglect and abuse in elder care facilities and nursing homes, they have little ameliorative impact on abuse that has already happened. If you have any suspicion at all that a close friend or loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, please contact one of our Massachusetts nursing home abuse lawyers right away at 617-787-3700 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Time is critical. Contact us today for your free and confidential consultation.