Recently, several disastrous events have occurred that spotlight the nursing home industry’s inability or unwillingness to protect the safety and wellbeing of its residents. Following Hurricane Irma, 14 Florida residents died when the air conditioning failed at their nursing home, while many wheelchair-bound residents languished in floodwaters for hours at a nursing home in Texas. Also, in Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria, many nursing home residents went without power or supplies long after the storm passed. Despite these glaring deficiencies in the industry’s emergency preparedness protocols, the nursing home industry continues to fight government regulations that seek to protect nursing home residents.
Within days of Hurricane Irma, Florida Governor Rick Scott used his emergency powers to issue a new rule requiring nursing homes to have backup generators that could provide enough power to keep facilities funning for four days. However, rather than working to comply with the rule and protect their residents, the nursing home industry challenged Gov. Scott’s rule in court. The industry’s efforts to scuttle measures designed to protect nursing home residents were also on display during a public hearing held by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration regarding a proposed rule like the one issued by Governor Scott. At the hearing, lobbyists for the nursing home industry opposed the rule and complained about the costs and time constraints nursing homes would suffer by complying with the life-saving rule.
In 2015, about 68 percent of U.S. nursing homes were owned by for-profit corporations. Medicare, funded by the American taxpayer, spends $55 billion on nursing home care for approximately 870,000 residents. Despite regulations requiring nursing homes to provide “services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being” of each resident, the industry’s actions clearly demonstrate its commitment to put profits ahead of its obligation to protect and care for its elderly and infirm residents, even though American taxpayers pay the majority of America’s nursing home bills.
Lawyers in our firm are currently representing nursing home residents or their families in cases where the resident was severely injured or died because of nursing home abuse or neglect. If you have had a family member who was catastrophically injured or died, or you have any questions about nursing home abuse and neglect, contact Chris Boutwell, who handles nursing home litigation for our firm, at Chris.Boutwell@beasleyallen.com or by phone at 800-898-2034.
Sources: AARP Bulletin, Wall Street Journal
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.