Nursing home abuse and neglect usually occurs when poorly trained or inexperienced caregivers are required to take care of challenging patients without adequate support from nursing home management. At Mishkind Kulwicki Law, we are often asked to recommend nursing homes to clients and friends who are facing the difficult task of finding an acceptable long-term care facility for their loved one. This task is made easier by a rating system provided by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS): http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-02-10/nursing-home-ratings/53029452/1.
There are certain limitations to this rating system. First, it is based on past experience. Having a good track record does not always mean that poor care will be avoided in the future. Second, not all facilities are included in this list. Third, the rating system is not necessarily based on accepted quality assurance criteria. However, the list does provide some measure of quality care.
One unfortunate trend reflected by this data is that many nursing homes that provide poor care are not improving their level of care between rating periods. What this means is that, short of a commitment by administration to provide adequate staffing, to improve training and to provide its workforce with the support needed to provide excellent care, patterns of abuse and neglect will continue. If your loved one has experienced poor care in a long-term care setting, such as a pressure sore, a fall, an assault or wrongful death, you can have the matter investigated by reporting the incident to Ohio’s Department of Health. Or, contact the attorneys at Mishkind Kulwicki Law for assistance in doing so.