Elderly Lives Matter®

Problematic Nursing Homes Not Inspected During Health Crisis

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2020 | Assisted Living Facility Abuse and Neglect

Floridians who place an elderly loved one in a nursing home do so to ensure they have as high a quality of life as possible and are given the treatment and assistance they need. Unfortunately, some facilities are derelict in their duties, do not give residents what they need medically or personally, and issues arise that require governmental oversight. Families should be aware of this.

Delays in inspections could result in problems

With the current health situation in Florida and across the nation, a recent investigation shows that a program to keep track of troubled nursing homes has not been able to maintain its inspections. Families should be aware of potential challenges because of this and watch for signs of elder abuse and neglect. The program is run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Known as Special Focus Family (SFF), 88 nursing homes throughout the nation are subject to oversight because of past issues. However, the ongoing health problem has prevented inspections.

According to the program requirements, there must be an inspection at least every six months. This is double the frequency for nursing homes that have not been cited for violations. The inspectors have only been checking if there were complaints or to ensure the facilities’ infection control has been up to standard. Statistically, approximately 15% of SFF homes did not have an inspection between March and through July. More than 90% had not had a six-month survey by August.

Twenty percent had not had an inspection in at least a year. Another 20% were on the SFF list for more than a year-and-a-half. More than 1,600 complaints that were verified as true came about in the last three years. These facilities were four times as likely to have substantiated complaints. More than one-third did not have improvement and nine received citations for abuse in the past three years.

Legal assistance to address potential nursing home abuse and neglect

The inspections have recently been cleared to restart. Still, people who were ordinarily vigilant in keeping a close eye on loved ones in nursing homes have been limited because of the inability to visit with them. Signs can be subtle and overt. Any nursing home can have problems with a lack of adequate care, failing to give medication as needed and outright abuse. When there is suspicion that a loved one has been subjected to nursing home abuse and neglect, it is important to have legal advice from a firm that specializes in these issues.

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