Nursing Home Injury Risk

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently found that 79 percent more nursing home patients have longer stays or require transfers to more acute facilities due to adverse events. The 2014 report, “Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries” uncovers that the Medicare expenditures for skilled nursing facilities is the program’s second highest cost, with the highest expenditure being hospital inpatient costs.

According to the DHHS report, nursing home patients have longer stays in health care facilities due to injuries sustained, stating:

An estimated 22 percent of Medicare beneficiaries experienced adverse events during the [skilled nursing facility] stays. An additional 11 percent of Medicare beneficiaries experienced temporary harm events during their [skilled nursing facility] stays. Physician reviewers determined that 59 percent of these adverse events and temporary harm events were clearly or likely preventable. They attributed much of the preventable harm to substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and failure or delay of necessary care …”

The DHH lists medication errors, falls, injuries during transfers from the hospitals to the skilled nursing facilities, and bedsores as some of the most commonly occurring adverse events. In order to better deal and understand these issues, they have recommended investigating the self reporting process and requirements for nursing homes, and potentially instituting punishments similar to those currently instated for over-medicating.

If you or someone you know has incurred injury due to an adverse event experienced during a stay in a skilled nursing home, contact Caputo & Mariotti today for information on what you can do to protect your rights.

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