When it comes to elder abuse and neglect, it’s fairly well known that the victims often don’t report the issue, often because they are physically or mentally incapable of communicating. In other cases, the person or group who is abusing and neglecting patients threatens the victims into silence.
But what excuse do medical professionals have for failing to report instances of suspected abuse and neglect to police?
Officer Of Inspector General Studies Lack Of Reporting Of Nursing Home Abuse
The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently published their findings after performing several studies on nursing home abuse and neglect.
One of the most disturbing reports came from a study which looked only at cases where nursing home residents experienced abuse or neglect that was severe enough that they required medical care in an emergency room. The researchers reviewed cases where medical records showed head trauma, serious bruising, physical evidence of sexual assault, bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, and other medical issues that could indicate neglect or abuse.
What they discovered was that nursing homes across the country failed to report at least 1 in 5 instances to the agencies in charge of investigating them. In the majority of these potential cases, the patient was sent right back to the facility where the abuse or neglect occurred.
To make matters worse, when an investigation was conducted by state officials and clear evidence of abuse was found, almost 97% of the cases were NOT referred to the police. In fact, many of the investigators did not realize they were required to make a police report. One official commented that the police were only contacted in “the most serious abuse cases”.
A second review was performed of medical records from Medicare from 2015 to 2017. Here, the team performing the audit was looking for claims for the treatment of potential neglect or abuse in any setting. They discovered that out of the 30,000 potential cases discovered, the health care providers involved failed to contact law enforcement in nearly a third of all cases.
This means that thousands of our nation’s elderly are suffering at the hands of their supposed caretakers every single day, abuse and neglect that could have been stopped if only the proper authorities had been contacted.
Is Your Elderly Loved One Being Abused Or Neglected?
Do ever visit your loved one in a nursing home, only to leave with a feeling that something just isn’t right? Warning signs that abuse or neglect may be occurring include:
- Reported wandering without assistance.
- Bruising that cannot be explained.
- Fear of a specific person or area.
- Malnutrition or dehydration.
- The diagnosis of an STD.
You can take steps to protect your loved one and you can also fight to recover compensation that will get them the care they deserve.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawsuits: The Facts
In addition to bringing possible neglect and abuse to the attention of law enforcement, a civil lawsuit can help victims recover significant compensation for the suffering they have endured. Compensation can help to pay for medical bills, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other losses.
With the right legal team by your side, taking legal action doesn’t have to be stressful. At PA Nursing Home Lawyers, our legal team focuses only on nursing home and abuse cases. We understand not only the legal aspects of the case but also the emotional and physical damage that has been done to our clients and their loved ones.
Our goal is to ensure that our clients get the compensation needed to get the care they require. We always fight for the maximum amount possible, whether it be during a settlement negotiation or in a courtroom.
Together, we will work through your legal claim, step by step. Contact us today to get started.