Nursing home abuse
Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Go Unreported?
Under both federal and state laws, severe cases of nursing home abuse must be reported to local law enforcement. Abusing a nursing home resident physically, financially, or sexually is a crime that is punishable by hefty fines and jail sentences. Reporting nursing home abuse to law enforcement is the only way to ensure these crimes are prosecuted. However, a new report shows many cases of serious nursing home abuse go unreported.
The Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services is undertaking an investigation into nursing home abuse, and although incomplete, the preliminary findings were so shocking they released an alert to warn the public and encourage immediate changes. According to the alert, 28% of serious instances of nursing home abuse go unreported. The report defines “serious” instances of abuse as any event that caused bodily injury requiring emergency medical treatment.
However, the HHS alert also points out there are likely many more abuse victims out there. The Office of the Inspector General was able to uncover unreported instances of abuse because the victims were taken to an emergency care center for treatment. Unfortunately, many victims do not receive this treatment, making it impossible to know just how many victims there are.
Under federal law, nursing homes are required to report abuse that causes bodily injury within two hours to law enforcement. Unfortunately, not only do many nursing homes avoid contacting law enforcement, they also actively hide these instances.
Nursing home abuse isn’t just illegal – it’s also bad for business. Nursing homes could find themselves buried under hefty lawsuits by abuse victims and their families. Not to mention the damage done to the nursing home’s reputation. Additionally, nursing homes could be given massive fines from agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Because of the financial implications of nursing home abuse, many facilities wrongfully choose to sweep these instances under the rug. For victims and their families, the only way to obtain answers and justice is to file a lawsuit against the facility.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
If your loved one suffered abuse in a Philadelphia nursing home, the nursing home abuse lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP can investigate the circumstances of your case and help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your loved one. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.