Nursing homes are supposed to be safe and are required by law to provide sufficient care for the elderly. Sadly, many nursing homes fail to provide proper care and the results may be tragic. In some cases of nursing home neglect the patients suffered serious medical problems or even died as a result of neglectful care. A recent neglect case in New Mexico is using standard industrial science techniques to prove that the nursing home failed to provide adequate care.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is all too common and takes on many forms. In this particular case the New Mexico state attorney is suing a chain of nursing homes alleging that they were severely understaffed making it impossible to provide proper care to its residents. Some of the neglect that was noted includes dirty bed linens and a terrible stench that permeated the entire facility. One woman became extremely frail after missing meals because the caregivers failed to assist her in cutting up her food. The woman also suffered a severely broken hip that the doctor noted must have been broken for several days before seeking medical attention. The woman’s condition continued to go downhill and she died a few months later. The family members of the woman are witnesses in the case against the nursing home facilities.
Nursing Home Fraud
The lawsuit against the facilities alleges that they could not have provided adequate care to their residents because of low staffing. They intend to prove this allegation based on the use of time management studies that are typically utilized in industrial science. Time management studies have long been used to determine staffing requirements in other industries. The studies evaluate how much time is spent completing each type of activity necessary for the care of a resident. For example, time and motion studies are done to determine how much time it takes to provide basic care that includes such tasks as bathing, feeding, and turning patients while in bed. The study concludes that the care provided did not come close to fulfilling the care hours necessary based on these studies.
The lawsuit claims that the nursing home facilities fraudulently billed the state for hours of care that was not provided. This allowed the nursing home company to profit from the millions of dollars it received from the state for Medicaid payments. The state is attempting to recover the money for the state and the taxpayers. It is also including recovery of money that individual families paid for care that was not properly provided. The lawsuit argues that it was impossible for the facility to provide the amount of care billed because the time and motion studies prove the proper level of care needed. This is according to the number of employees that work for the facility. When the companies billed for care it was fraudulent.
This case is unique because the state of New Mexico is actually suing the nursing home for fraud. They intend to try to expose the terrible treatment often provided in nursing home facilities and uncover the fraud used to obtain funding and payments for care that was not provided. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect is a serious problem that causes physical and emotional harm to residents. If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to review your case.
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