Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its consumer accessible nursing home rating tool. The new system was designed to provide consumers and their loved ones with readily available and comprehensive information regarding nursing home quality and care. As the rate of Florida nursing home abuse cases continues to rise, the Nursing Home Compare website is a necessary and crucial tool for consumers. The site provides each nursing home with a rating score between 1 and 5, and additional ratings in regards to the nursing home’s inspections, staff qualifications, and quality measures. This tool helps people understand how Florida nursing homes perform on health and fire inspections, how well they care for their residents, and whether they have any history of abuse towards patients.
This tool is especially important because nursing home abuse statistics indicate that close to 5 million older adults suffer abuse each year and that almost 25% of nursing home residents reported experiencing at least one instance of abuse. This does not account for the many older people that cannot articulate or recall details surrounding their abuse.
Nursing home abuse generally occurs when the caregiver intentionally harms a resident. This type of abuse often includes physical and sexual assaults. Whereas nursing home neglect usually occurs when the resident receives inferior or substandard care. This includes failing to address or prevent a resident’s medical concerns, to provide an adequate amount of food or hygiene products, or verbally abusing a resident. Many residents are unable to adequately report their abuse due to cognitive difficulties, speech impairments, or because they do not have anyone to whom they can report the abuse. However, family members and loved ones should be aware of certain changes that may indicate that abuse is occurring. For example, malnutrition, bedsores, and behavioral changes may point to abuse or neglect.
According to a recent new report, the federal government cited 25 Florida nursing homes with a warning icon through the Nursing Home Compare website. A bright red circle flags these nursing homes, indicating that the nursing home received citations for severe cases of abuse. Generally, the warning will remain next to the nursing home for 12 months after the violation. Two of the nursing homes that were flagged have additional poor ratings associated with their quality and care. One of the Florida nursing homes failed to resuscitate a resident even though the patient did not have a do-not-resuscitate-order. Another facility received a citation for giving food to a patient who could not swallow. Nursing home businesses have argued that these ratings may deter officials from reporting abuse cases. However, this reasoning does not outweigh the benefit of knowledge that consumers acquire through this rating tool.
Has Your Loved One Suffered Injuries at a Florida Nursing Home?
If you or someone you know suffered neglect or abuse at a Florida nursing home, you should contact the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. The attorneys at our Florida law firm have extensive experience handling emotionally difficult and complicated nursing home abuse cases. We understand that our clients require both compassion and zealous advocacy. Florida nursing home abuse cases often have devastating and life-altering consequences for everyone involved, and your loved one should get the compensation they deserve for the injuries they suffered. Contact our office for a free initial consultation at 877-499-4878.