For-profit nursing homes have higher rates of abuse and fraud

As the number of for-profit nursing homes grows in New York and across the country, so do cases of abuse and fraud. For-profit nursing homes may show greater financial success than their non-profit counterparts, yet allegations exist that the success is due to for-profit nursing homes providing fewer staff and cutting staff hours to reduce expenses and increase profits. The result of this is that elderly residents aren’t receiving the care or supervision many require.

An investigation of government data and court findings revealed very troubling incidents having occurred at for-profit facilities. Those incidents include a 92-year-old man with lung cancer being given physical, occupational and speech therapy after he had coughed up blood. In another incident, a 77-year-old woman choked to death while eating dinner alone and unsupervised in a dining hall. Yet another 77-year-old woman fell three times, broke her hip twice, had to have several surgeries and suffered bed sores and urinary tract infections. It was reported that a shortage of staff was the reason she fell and suffered injuries.

Shortage of staff was also identified as the reason numerous nursing home patients soiled themselves, as there wasn’t enough staff on duty to help them to the toilet.

These incidents haven’t gone unnoticed. Law enforcement and family members of patients who died in for-profit nursing homes have filed lawsuits alleging facility managers are pressured to keep the number of staff down to in order to save on labor expenses. It is also alleged the facilities push for patients to receive services they may not need because they are billable services.

According to a report by the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services, in one year alone, for-profit nursing homes billed $1.5 billion in improper charges.

Source: The Huffington Post, “For-Profit Nursing Homes Fuel Rise In Fraud And Abuse Charges,” Jeffrey Young, Dec. 31, 2012

Our law firm has worked with many families whose loved ones have suffered nursing home abuse by neglectful staff members. Find out more about elder abuse and neglect by visiting our New York nursing home abuse web page.