For years nursing homes had the protection of arbitration shielding them from being questioned about elder abuse. Arbitration meant that nursing home abuse, or any other problems related to products or services, could not be taken to court and instead had to be resolved between the affected party and the nursing home privately. The fine print of nursing home contracts often compromises on quality of care and safety, which is another reason why nursing homes have gotten away with abuse, mistreatment and sexual harassment. Fortunately, officials in many states have been able to get a new rule passed for the nursing homes that receive federal funding. The new rule passed in 2016 says that funding to nursing homes requiring arbitration as a condition for admission will be cut off and that any resident who has experienced any kind of abuse can take their claim to court.
The logic behind this rule is that arbitration keeps residents from exercising their legal right to take the nursing home to court for abuse and secondly keeps patterns of risks and wrongdoings hidden from prospective residents. Along with the fact that as a result of arbitration important information about nursing homes has been unable to get to prospective residents, the hesitation and inability of elders to complain about issues has added to the problem.
People working in the nursing care industry think that a lot of nursing home abuse and negligence can be traced to lack of/difficulty to retain quality, skilled staff. Moreover, insufficient federal funding makes it quite challenging for nursing homes to attract skilled nurses and their assistants. As a result, 30% of nursing homes in the U.S. (5823 facilities) had 9000 instances of abuse in a recent two-year period. Despite the fact that residents have the right to take nursing homes to court now, negligence and abuse need to be dealt with by the authorities, in charge of maintaining safety and quality standards. The federal government is the biggest contributor of nursing home care, through programs like Medicaid and Medicare and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducts annual inspections to ensure that national standards are being maintained in nursing homes. Spreading awareness about the residents’ rights should be made part of the standards so that the nursing home care providers know that they are accountable for their actions.
If you or a loved one has been abused or have suffered due to a care provider’s negligence in Texas, you can reach out to a nursing home abuse attorney and take your nursing home to court. With nursing home abuse on the rise in the country, we believe and advise that you should extensively research all the nursing homes you are considering to live in and then make the decision to move in. Abuse and neglect cases have resulted in life altering damages to the elderly in nursing homes that can cost you and your loved ones a lot, financially and non financially. Rad Law Firm has an experienced team of lawyers who are passionate about getting their clients the rights and the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to discuss the injustice you have experienced at your nursing home.