The extent to which nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect is reported is an important subject, both for those instances of nursing home abuse and neglect that happen in Illinois as well as nationally. As indicated elsewhere in this site, many studies and reports indicate that abuse and neglect of nursing home residents is likely underreported to a significant degree, as is the incidence of overall elder abuse.
Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report titled “Nursing Facilities’ Compliance With Federal Regulations For Reporting Allegations Of Abuse Or Neglect.” This report, dated August 2014, contains much notable information regarding the topics of abuse and neglect in nursing facilities, as well as reporting requirements.
A few notable excerpts include, in the order in which they are found in the report:
from page 1:
It is estimated that approximately 5 million, or 10 percent, of elderly adults are abused, neglected, or exploited annually.¹ Between now and 2050, the United States is projected to experience significant growth in its elderly population. In 2050, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to be 88.5 million, more than double the population of 40.2 million in 2010.² Nursing facilities are likely to experience increases in their resident population; therefore, it is important to ensure that residents are protected from abuse and neglect.
from page 3:
Nursing facilities must report all allegations of abuse or neglect immediately to the nursing facility administrator or designee, State survey and certification agency (State survey agency), and to other officials in accordance with State law. An allegation of abuse or neglect is required to be reported immediately; an investigation is subsequently conducted to determine and substantiate the allegation. Not all allegations of abuse or neglect are substantiated. Nursing facilities are required to report the results of investigations of these allegations to the nursing facility administrator or designee, State survey agency, and to other officials in accordance with State law within 5 working days of the incident.
from page 14:
It is both required and expected that nursing facilities will report any and all allegations of abuse or neglect to ensure resident safety. Eighty-five percent of nursing facilities reported at least one allegation of abuse or neglect to OIG in 2012. Seventy-six percent of nursing facilities maintained policies that address Federal regulations for both reporting allegations of abuse or neglect and subsequent investigation results. Further, 61 percent of nursing facilities had documentation supporting the facilities’ compliance with both Federal regulations under Section 1150B of the SSA. Lastly, 53 percent of allegations of abuse or neglect and the subsequent investigation results were reported, as Federally required.
Additionally, the report has Table 1 (page 2) that contains definitions of both abuse and neglect, as well as a definition of Injuries of Unknown Source and Misappropriation of Resident Property.
As well, Table 3 (page 8) provides statistics regarding allegations of reported abuse and neglect, and Table 4 (page 8) indicates the nature of the allegations, e.g. employee to resident, resident to resident, etc. Notably, 24.2 percent of the allegations were “resident to resident,” compared to 40.3 percent as “employee to resident.”
Additional details can be found in the Department of Health and Human Services report mentioned above, as well as the August 25, 2014 Houston Chronicle article titled “Survey: U.S. Nursing homes don’t report many abuse allegations.”
Should you or someone you care for experience Illinois nursing home abuse or neglect – or a nursing home accident – please contact the Elman Law Group to discuss the situation and to see what legal remedies may exist.
Elman Law Group is a personal injury law firm based in Chicago, and is known for its litigation (court trial) capabilities. This is important for your lawsuit because if we are unable to attain an appropriate settlement, we have a proven track record of achieving highly attractive court verdicts.
In fact, because of this litigation capability, many well-known law firms choose to have Elman Law Group litigate cases.
To immediately speak directly to Tony Elman, Lead Attorney of the Elman Law Group, call (773) 392-8182 at any time. There is no fee for this legal consultation.
Elman Law Group, LLC handles Chicago area and other Illinois personal injury lawsuits as well as wrongful death lawsuits.