Earlier this year, we discussed the lawsuit filed by the New Mexico Attorney General in December 2014 against major nursing home chain owner Preferred Care Partners Management Group L.P., which is based out of Texas but operates in ten states throughout the Southwest, Midwest and Southeast United States. The initial filing alleged that nursing homes owned by Preferred Care have failed to meet federal and state regulations, and residents have suffered injuries, malnourishment, dehydration, and poor hygiene as a result of the tremendous negligence of facility aides and staffers. Some patients are even said to have died in these circumstances.
Many of these homes employ dangerously low levels of staff, which is unfortunately a trend in the industry whereby owners cut down on costs of employment, and can thereby increase their profit margins. The downside, obviously, is that residents receive less care than they need with few staff around, many staffers are overtaxed and overworked, and unfortunately some resort to abusive or at least improper activities to deal with patients that may be efficient but can also lead to injury or illness. These problems can also be caused not just by understaffing, but by a lack of training. Whistleblowers from these facilities have reported such low staffing levels that keep them from tending to residents in an adequate and timely manner.