The U.S. Department of Justice announced on March 3, 2020 the launch of the Department of Justice’s National Nursing Home Initiative, which will coordinate and enhance civil and criminal efforts to pursue nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their residents, focusing on some of the worst nursing homes around the country. The Department already has initiated investigations into approximately thirty individual nursing facilities in nine states as part of its effort.
The Department considers a number of factors in identifying the most problematic nursing homes. For example, the Department looks for nursing homes that consistently fail to provide adequate nursing staff to care for their residents, fail to adhere to basic protocols of hygiene and infection control, fail to provide their residents with enough food to eat so that they become emaciated and weak, withhold pain medication, or use physical or chemical restraints to restrain or otherwise sedate their residents. These nursing homes failures cause residents to suffer in pain and to be exposed to the great indignities. Nursing homes care failures cause residents to develop pressure sores down to the bone, to lie in their own waste for hours, to starve because they cannot reach the food on their trays and to remain unwashed for weeks at a time. Nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care also force vulnerable elderly residents who cannot leave the facilities to live in filthy and dangerous conditions where there are leaks in the roofs, mold is found growing and rodents found living in residents’ rooms. These are some of the actions and the inactions that the Department intends to pursue.
Nonetheless, as reported by The New York Times on March 14, 2020, “The Trump administration has been working to relax regulations governing America’s nursing homes, including rules meant to curb deadly infections among elderly residents … The push followed a spate of lobbying and campaign contributions by people in the nursing-home industry, according to public records and interviews.”
“Last July, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or C.M.S., set in motion a plan to weaken rules imposed by the Obama administration that required every nursing home to employ at least one specialist in preventing infections. The proposed rules — which the agency is completing and has the power to enact — eliminate the requirement to have even a part-time infection specialist on staff. Instead, the Trump administration would require that anti-infection specialists spend “sufficient time at the facility.””
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in the United States due to a nursing home fall, nursing home aspiration, nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home under-staffing, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys (nursing home claim attorneys) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
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