In Maryland and across the nation, the tumult over the past several years, how it impacted healthcare and especially how nursing home residents are cared for has drawn scrutiny as well as calls for action. People who reside in nursing homes are often elderly, ill, infirm or are suffering from conditions that make it necessary for them to receive consistent attention. Unfortunately, many facilities do not live up to the trust families put in them to ensure their loved ones get the care they need. In many cases, there is abuse perpetrated on the residents. People who believe their family member was abused, mistreated, was left alone and suffered injury or had a worsened condition because of missteps at the nursing home should be aware of the new rules that are being put in effect. There are also options to hold those who committed wrongdoing accountable.
U.S. plans to address nursing home care with new plan
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under guidance from the Biden administration, will take steps to improve conditions in nursing homes. This largely stems from problems that came about amid the challenges over the past two years, but other concerns have long been in place. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is set to enact basic standards of care. This will be done within a year after studies have been completed to assess problems that must be addressed.
Among the potential changes are less crowding and implanting various safeguards regarding treatment and medication. Currently, the government has the right to conduct inspections of nursing homes, but that would be enhanced as would financial consequences for facilities that are derelict in their duties. It could rise to as much as $1 million. Staffing is a primary area of focus. This has been noted as a worry for almost every nursing home that was surveyed by the American Health Care Association. Sufficient staffing goes beyond simply having workers present, but extends to qualified workers with a good work history.
If nursing home wrongdoing is suspected, knowing what can be done is key
People who believe their loved one was abused or subjected to nursing home neglect might not be sure what they should do. There are steps that must be taken and a process to follow to investigate the allegations, gather evidence and move forward. Since every case is different, it is vital to have help with tailoring a strategy based on the situation. If, for example, a loved one fell because they were left alone in the shower, this would require a different plan than if there were bruises and hospitalization because of physical abuse. There may be records of what happened, witnesses and other information that can be fundamental to the circumstances. Having trustworthy and experienced help can be imperative from the outset to determine what happened, who is responsible and what can be done through the legal system.