Nursing Home Abuse in Maryland | Getting Worse, Not Better

nursing home abuseMaryland’s nursing homes had an “off year” according to Jay Handcock’s blog for the Baltimore Sun.

The Government Accountability Office reports that citations in Maryland for inflicting residents with “actual harm” or putting them in “immediate jeopardy” were given to 17% of Maryland’s 234 nursing homes last year. This is more than a 100% increase from last year.

There is a bill in the Maryland House of Delegates that would require Maryland nursing homes to give people the choice of installing cameras to monitor their loved ones. What would that cost these assisted care facilities? Nothing. The patients or their families would pay for the camera themselves.

Yet I’m going out on a limb to say the bill does not pass. Why? These nursing homes have good lobbyists.  They didn’t used to as much.  Now nursing home care is the domain of these big national chains.  FutureCare.  ManorCare.  

We have been trying to change this.  There are several national, state, and local organizations to fight and lobby for excellent care and respect for nursing home residents.  Organizations such as the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform have been battling these nursing homes. The American Association and the Maryland Association for Justice have also been trying to push back.  But it is tough. 

Nursing Home Statistics Underscore The Problem

One study estimates that 22% of Medicare beneficiaries suffered from adverse events in nursing homes.  Are some of these unavoidable?  Sure.  But the study found that 59% of these adverse events were or likely preventable with the proper care.   Inadequate resident monitoring and delays in care made up the lion’s share of this malpractice.  This leads to human suffering and death.  If that does not move you, it also causes $2.8 billion in unnecessary medical care a year.

In 2014, the federal government put out a recent report titled “Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries”  that broke down the problems we are seeing in our nursing homes.   They are in order:
  • 56 percent of preventable nursing home error involved the correct care for the right person, but the problem was the care itself was below the standard of care
  • 37 percent of events revealed negligent monitoring of a patient’s care
  • 25 percent of avoidable adverse medical events occurred because required treatment was simply not provided
  • 14 percent of medical errors were because of mistakes in medical judgment
  • 11 percent of events resulted from inadequate care plans.
The other thing that rarely finds its way to a nursing home lawsuit that is unbelievably common is medication error. Two-thirds of medication errors were found to be preventable and I’ll bet that number is low.

Getting a Nursing Home Attorney in Maryland

Our law firm handles nursing home cases throughout Maryland.  If you need an attorney because of injuries or death caused by a negligent nursing home, skilled care facility, or hospital,  call Ron Miller at 410-779-4600 or get a free on-line consultation to learn about what your options may be to bring a claim and what that would entail. There is no cost or obligation to you.  I may help you or at least put you on the right path.

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