A recent study in the International Journal of Experimental, Clinical, Behavioural and Technological Gerontology concluded that residents of for-profit skilled-nursing facilities are “diagnosed with substantially more clinical signs of neglect than patients residing in not-for-profit facilities and low-functioning, community-dwelling patients.”
The study, led by Lee Friedman, an associate professor in the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, compared 1,149 patients age 60 or older who were hospitalized between 2007 and 2011 immediately following residencies in either a private home setting, a not-for-profit nursing home, or a for-profit nursing home. The researchers then sought to assess the relationship between clinical signs of neglect and the types of residences in which these patients lived prior to their hospital admissions.
Based upon this methodology, the team found that the “most serious” clinical signs of neglect “were consistently more prevalent among residents of for-profit facilities, including dehydration with presence of gastrostomy, not being provided basic medications to manage chronic conditions, stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers, and complications with urinary catheters and feeding tubes.” The researches also determined that the “for-profit facilities caring for the patients in this study were significantly inferior across nearly all staffing, capacity, and deficiency measures.”
The data, for example, showed that the for-profit facilities had significantly higher patient capacity and volume than the not-for-profit facilities—yet, at the same time, the for-profit facilities also had lower staffing commitments. The study noted that this is in part because the for-profit nursing homes “have profit margin goals and on average pay much higher salaries to their management teams, which translates to lower expenditures on staff and services within these institutions.” Unfortunately, this business model can have serious consequence for the residents of these nursing homes. Indeed, the study noted that “low quality of care as measured by staffing, capacity, training, and deficiencies is strongly associated with adverse health outcomes such as pressure ulcers, hospitalizations, and mortality[.]”
Holding Nursing Homes Accountable for Neglect
We all hope and expect that the nursing homes we choose will live up to their end of the bargain in providing care to our loved ones. But it is important to understand that nursing homes sometimes profits over people, leaving our loved ones at greater risk of neglect and serious injury. Eric J. Hertz, P.C. strives to hold these facilities accountable to a jury when they betray the trust that has been placed in them.
Eric J. Hertz, P.C.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers