Survey: U.S. Nursing Homes Don’t Report Many Abuse Allegations

Posted Date: September 3rd, 2014 | Categories: Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer, Individuals

Many of the nation’s nursing homes are failing to report accusations of abuse or neglect, according to the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health Human Services.

That was the upshot of a report, released this month, which surveyed a small number of facilities and estimated how well the nation’s nursing homes comply with federal rules for reporting abuse and neglect allegations.

“We found that 85 percent of nursing facilities reported at least one allegation of abuse or neglect to OIG (the Office of Inspector General) in 2012,” the analysis with a sample size of 209 nursing facilities said.

Nursing homes are “required and expected” to report “any and all allegations of abuse or neglect to ensure resident safety,” according to federal law.

The report said an estimated 5 million elderly adults are abused, neglected or exploited annually, which is about 10 percent of America’s seniors.

But documentation and reporting was far from complete. The OIG found that:

  • Just 76 percent of nursing homes maintained policies that address federal rules for reporting these allegations and investigation results.
  • Only 61 percent had documentation of compliance with these regulations.
  • Slightly more than half of such allegations – 53 percent – were reported as federally required.

Read the full report below.

Of the allegations reported in 2012, 24 percent – nearly one in four – were resident-to-resident. The largest share of accusations, 40 percent, were employee abuse or neglect of a resident.

The OIG recommended that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ensure that nursing facilities maintain policies related to reporting allegations of abuse and neglect, notify people who are required to report reasonable suspicions of crimes and report such allegations in a timely manner to the appropriate individuals. The report said that CMS officials concurred.

The report follows two deadly resident-to-resident nursing home attacks in the Houston area this spring. In a story this month, the Chronicle found that there were warning signs identified by the state at the nursing homes where the residents died.

Nursing Home Report on compliance abuse and neglect allegations reporting | August 2014

Link to original article.

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