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Bush’s Lawsuit Restrictions Add to Risk in Nursing Homes

New legislation is making it difficult for elderly neglected or abused in nursing homes to gather evidence from inspections. Shortly before President Bush left office, he signed a bill allowing state inspectors to be considered federal employees that could be restricted from giving testimony in court. This means that there will be less evidence to back up nursing home violations. Elderly abuse will be more difficult to prove, which will lead to poor treatment of seniors in nursing homes. The dramatic effect of inspectors not testifying is revealed by the fact that they are the ones who track the number and frequency of abuse. However, this new legislation was put into place to make Medicare payments to providers and to insure that less nursing home lawsuits go to litigation. “The Bush administration’s rule makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to uncover state inspectors’ findings and use them as evidence,” said attorney Steven Levin of Levin & Perconti. “This regulation is another example of the Bush administration putting the interests of corporations that run nursing homes ahead of the rights of nursing home residents to be free of abuse and neglect. As a result, poor quality care in nursing homes will not be discovered and punished.” To read more about Bush’s new rule, please click the link.