Choosing to put a loved one in a nursing home is a very important decision for which many families rely on the “star” system to make. But The New York Times has just revealed data that shows how the rating system is in fact broken and misleading to the public.
With over 130,000 COVID-19 related deaths in nursing homes throughout the country, the investigation done by New York Times “found that people at five-star facilities were roughly as likely to die of the disease as those at one-star homes.” So how did homes with five stars manipulate the system? Their findings show that a lot of the self-reported data – such as the number of staff on-site and the severity of a patient’s state – from nursing homes to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is often wrong, making them seem safer than they actually are. While there are in-person health checks and inspections on top of self-reported data, the investigation also showed that five-star facilities who reported false or understated data often failed their inspection, though this rarely led to being audited to prove false data. Going into the pandemic only seemed to make this system worse as nursing homes worked harder to make their ratings look better rather than actually upgrading care to ensure health of their patients.
Overmedicating residents, underreporting accidents and falls on-site, neglecting patients to the point of becoming extremely sick, and even some cases of rape are just some of the ill treatment that this investigation exposed at a place Americans send their loved ones with the intention of being cared for. These type of incidents should never happen.
If you believe your loved one is suffering from neglect or abuse at their long-term care facility, GLP Attorneys is ready to take your call and get your loved one the justice they deserve. Our attorneys have many years of experience in these type of cases, including some of the highest reported settlements in the state of Washington. Reach out and call us today for a free lawyer consultation.