Nursing home abuse appears to be on the rise, becoming a matter of national concern. As the quality of care in many nursing homes seems to deteriorate, we cannot turn a blind eye. At the root of the problem are several issues:
1. Limited Resources. As America’s population ages, the number of people seeking assistance in nursing homes has overwhelmed the resources of the conventional non-profit nursing home establishment. This has led to the rise of networks of corporate-owned nursing homes where care is (usually) top-notch, but comes with a hefty pricetag. You can probably think of several for-profit assisted-living centers that were built in your own town within the last decade. As a result, non-profit homes struggle to find quality staff and may face cutting their care requirements.
2. Medicare and Medicaid Payments. Corporate-owned nursing homes receive a flat-rate payment for every patient. To retain profits, they may cut expenses. The effects are first felt in patient care, followed by patient “space” – the amount of private living area each patient has. As that space grows smaller, their quality of life decreases. Government assistance also comes more slowly than private payments, so nursing homes may be waiting for payments and losing patience.
3. Tort Reform. Many states have passed tort reform laws over the last decade. This makes it significantly more difficult for patients who have been subjected to abuse or neglect to sue a nursing home and win substantial damages. These laws have been passed to slow down frivolous lawsuits, to prevent more jobs from moving overseas, and to enable institutions to lower costs to their patients or customers. Costs are lower when institutions are less concerned about the possibility of massive settlements. Moreover, a corporate-owned facility still is aware of the risk of significant damages in a nursing home abuse lawsuit and makes sure that the care provided conforms to minimum standards. Providing poor care quality is the consequence of no threat from legal damages and this is why a nursing home can still be on the hook if they are mismanaging the home or mistreating residents.
The unfortunate reality is that thousands of people experience abuse or neglect in nursing homes each year. If you believe that someone you love is being victimized or neglected in a nursing home or assisted living facility, we can help get compensation for the pain and suffering experienced. Because these lawsuits follow Arkansas’s statute of limitations laws, you shouldn’t put it off – contact Taylor King at 1-800-227-9732 today.