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According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of the United States Congress, nursing homes across the country are repeatedly cited for mistreatment of patients with minimal penalties. As a result, these nursing homes abuse and neglect patients in violation of federal standards and pose a continuing and ongoing threat to the safety of nursing home patients.
While some of the nursing homes have harmed residents over periods as long as six years, they nonetheless remain in the Medicaid and Medicare programs, making profits largely from Medicaid and Medicare tax dollars. The Department of Health and Human Services continually fails in holding nursing homes with long histories of harming residents accountable for poor care, according to the GAO report.
The United States Congress enacted strict standards for nursing home care in 1987, and in 1998, the GAO reported that nursing homes were still routinely and regularly harming patients without facing sanctions from regulatory authorities. Despite promises by the Clinton and Bush administrations and the nursing home industry’s repetitive announcements of initiatives to improve the quality of care, nothing has changed at the worst nursing homes according to the recent GAO report. In addition, the Bush administration rarely uses its authority to deny payment to nursing homes having a history of violating federal standards of care and typically fines them far less than the allowed maximum of $ 10,000 per day.
About 1.5 million U.S. residents live in the 16,400 nursing homes in America. Over 3 million receive care at nursing homes at some point each year. Government Medicare and Medicaid dollars pay for more than two thirds of the patients seen at nursing homes each year. Medicare and Medicaid, supported by your tax dollars, paid nursing homes 60% of the $ 122 Billion Dollars spent on nursing home care in the U.S. in 2005.
Yet, these nursing homes neglect and abuse the greatest generations of Americans each and every day while raking in billions in profits from tax dollars, private long term care insurance, and patients’ personal retirement savings. It is wrong. The attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter have extensive experience in litigating nursing home cases, having led a team of nursing home litigators handling cases in Florida, Tennessee, and West Virginia at our predecessor firm, Morgan, Colling & Gilbert. To prevail against this powerful industry in a case of abuse or neglect, an attorney must have the resources and experience to do battle successfully against the corporations that have callously and routinely violated federal standards for the last twenty years. Before hiring an attorney, a victim of nursing home abuse, neglect, or negligence should be sure the attorney and his firm have the resources and experience to get the job done.