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Study finds nursing home negligence risks the health of elderly


Many residents of New Haven, Connecticut, depend on nursing homes to look after their elderly loved ones and finding the services of a good senior care facility is often a difficult and costly decision. Unfortunately, some nursing homes fail to provide a high standard of care, which can compromise the safety of their residents.

Recent data cites the real dangers that many nursing home residents face. According to the findings of the Health and Human Services, in 2011, more than one in every five patients of skilled nursing facilities suffered because of infections, falls and medication errors.

This number can have a significant impact on partnerships between hospitals, medical practitioners and nursing homes. With Medicare paying for all those involved in the treatment and rehabilitation of the patient, cost savings is a big factor for the medical service providers. Unfortunately, with the pressure of saving money, the quality of care at these facilities may be sacrificed. Fortunately, under new rules, when an elderly patient suffers an adverse event in a nursing home, the hospital will cover the related costs of care.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services study, an elderly patient may be safer in a hospital than in a skilled nursing facility -- only 13 percent of patients suffered adverse effects in a hospital, while 22 percent suffered a worsened medical condition in nursing homes.

A nursing home injury can involve a great deal of pain and suffering, including financial repercussions for the patient and the patient's family. Fortunately, the victim may choose to file a lawsuit against a nursing home and its staff for medical malpractice. However, proving the negligence of a care facility can be challenging and therefore people need to understand their legal options.

Source: Forbes, "Addressing the Dangers of Nursing Facilities," Howard Gleckman, Mar. 14, 2014

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