A sigh of relief is heard across California as nursing homes are now required to participate in a public nursing home rating system. According to the Los Angeles Times, nursing homes throughout California have begun to post federal star ratings giving prospective seniors and their families a fighting chance at comfortable and safe care. Few can argue that these ratings are not useful, but some are arguing that they are unfair.
Senior Abuse Becomes a Sore Subject
Victims of senior abuse can vouch that this subject is very personal, but nursing home owners and operators have wasted no time to complain about their own injustices in regards to the new rating system. Nursing home officials complain that the scoring system does not accurately reflect a facility’s quality.
“It should just be a straight rating in a free-market system where you get stars based on performance,” said Mary Jann, director of regulatory affairs for the Sacramento-based California Assn. of Health Facilities, which represents about 800 skilled nursing facilities statewide.
This stance towards the new rating system is pretty ironic. Their stance leads to some obvious questions; shouldn’t we be incorporating state public health complaints and citations? If a facility is constantly alleged to be participating in nursing home abuse, the general public has a right to know.
“The quality measures are changing,” said Edward Mortimore, technical director of the survey and certification group in the Baltimore office of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “We’re still evaluating what will happen.” Mortimore said the ratings could be frozen or temporarily eliminated from April to next fall while improvements are made. It was not clear what information nursing homes would be required to post during that time.
A Sordid History of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home neglect and elder abuse are common problems in the United States. According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report in 2002, nursing home abuse has resulted in serious injuries and deaths at several facilities across the nation. The report also revealed that facilities were late in reporting abuse incidents 50 percent of the time.
Nursing Home Abuse Advocates
If you or a loved one has been violated in any way by a California nursing home, call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys nursing home negligence attorney for a free professional evaluation of your case by attorneys who have handled more than 6,000 clients since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a friendly law firm in a comfortable environment.
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