With the aging population in the U.S. expected to reach 88.5 million the
middle of the century, nursing homes and extended care facilities will
likely have no shortage of residents. However, families looking to place
their loved ones in such facilities now may be interested in hearing just
how many fines were issued for violations in the last few years.
An example is a nursing home in Oxford, Ohio. Three years ago, the facility
was hit with a fine of $250,000. The reason? The water temperature was
set on some faucets so high that a person could experience scaling burns
within 15 seconds. The problem had been reported by employees, but it
was 85 days until anything was done. Each day the problem wasn’t
corrected resulted in a $4,300 fine. By not having a hearing to challenge
the incident, there was a 35 percent reduction in the fine amount. There
had been 41 deficiencies found at the nursing home in just three years.
Inspectors with the Ohio Department of Health compiled data for the government
and according to the Journal News, the deficiencies that occur at nursing
home in Ohio included lack of necessary care, physical abuse, sexual assaults
and medication errors.
Another thing the newspaper found when examining the data was that serious
deficiencies occurred in some of the most highly-rated nursing homes.
One incident can ruin a facility’s rating. Some nursing home experts
explain that is why they encourage families to look at more than just
a home’s rating and inspection reports before they choose a facility
for their loved ones.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a larger problem than many people may
realize. When residents are injured or die because of medical malpractice,
abuse or neglect, compensation can be sought in civil court. In addition,
some cases may involve criminal charges against those who perpetrate such crimes.