Are corporations adding to the problem of nursing home neglect?

Is corporate America helping or hurting the issue of nursing home abuse? According to a recent article, the outlook may not be positive.

Specifically, the article suggests that nursing homes are increasingly becoming acquired or part of large corporate entities, around sixty percent nationwide. Although the standardization of certain aspects of assisted living care might be beneficial, certain so-called efficiencies might not be in the best interest of residents. For example, the ratio of nursing staff to residents now averages about 1 clinical registered nurse for 20 residents, at least among the corporately controlled homes.

Another aspect of privatization may also be unfavorable to residents: pre-dispute arbitration agreements. This feature of contract law, forced arbitration, prevents residents from filing a lawsuit for mistreatment or nursing home neglect or abuse, among other reasons.

Lawmakers have recognized the potential danger to residents by such forced arbitration clauses. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is reportedly considering a policy whereby federal funds would be withheld from facilities that use forced arbitration clauses.

This story illustrates that even a prospective conversation with a law firm that focuses on nursing home abuse and neglect can be beneficial. Our lawyers can review a contract for potentially unfavorable small print. If a loved one is already in a facility that is suspected of neglect, our attorneys can also investigate for patterns of nursing home neglect. Such signs might include burns, bedsores, malnutrition, medical errors or unexplained falls or fractures. We have the resources to investigate your concerns. Check out our firm’s website to learn more about how we are fighting elder abuse and protecting individuals’ rights.

Source: Huffington Post, “Corporate America’s Latest Target: Nursing Home Patients,” Paul Bland, Oct. 15, 2015 

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