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Report states little oversight to prevent nursing home negligence

In many aspects, families may consider an assisted living facility a better alternative to the traditional nursing home setting. Unfortunately, a new federal report states that, in spite of billions of dollars going to pay for this type of care for Medicare and Medicaid patients, there is little guidance or oversight provided to prevent nursing home negligence or abuse. The new report covers these designated institutions in every state, including Maryland, and calls for more regulation.

There are many set regulations that are meant to provide quality care for patients who require traditional nursing home care. Though assisted living centers are growing in popularity, there are not nearly as many regulations in place to ensure that patients who are on Medicare or Medicaid are receiving the same quality care. States and the federal government reportedly spend an average of $30,000 for the care of a patient in these types of homes, but there is no standardized method to ensure that the funding is being used to provide the same level of care that other facilities are required to provide.

In addition, states are expected to track the number of patients who suffer from abuse, neglect, unattended deaths or exploitation while in the care of these facilities. Unfortunately, less than 50 percent of the states could provide these types of records. For the states that could produce these figures, there were reportedly almost 23,000 incidents that involved abuse of residents in one form or another during just one year.

Several states have taken measures to ensure the safety of vulnerable residents who reside in these types of institutions. However, the report that was compiled by the General Accounting Office reveals that there is much room for improved oversight to protect those who are receiving funds from these two government programs. Maryland residents who are concerned that their loved one may have been a victim of any type of nursing home negligence are assured of their rights to seek a remedy for the physical, emotional and monetary damages that may have resulted from the abuse or neglect. A skilled personal injury attorney can provide compassionate assistance in filing these formal complaints.

Source: nytimes.com, "U.S. Pays Billions for 'Assisted Living', but What Does It Get?", Robert Pear, Feb. 3, 2018

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