When you think of luxurious massages and time spent lounging around the pool, you think of vacations – not medical rehabilitation. However, nursing homes and rehab centers, like it or not, are Big Business; both are always vying for the attention of prospective clients.
The real problem, unfortunately, according to a 2014 report put out by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, many of these companies are great at luring customers but not as stellar at providing quality healthcare services. They are focused, the report says, on patient lifestyle rather than high-quality, skilled nursing care and access to physicians.
The report specifically reviewed Medicare expenditures on nursing facility claims in 2011. Apparently, of the Medicare patients who lived short-term in a nursing facility such as a rehab center, 22 percent “experienced harm as a result of their medical care.” In fact, Medicare spent paid out $2.8 million in hospital claims in 2011 for patients who were harmed while living in nursing facilities.
Of further concern, according to the report, is how many patients are released from healthcare facilities – including rehab centers and hospitals – before they are fully healed. The trend is causing many people to be readmitted for continued care, often care for exacerbated issues caused by the early discharge.
According to a NY Times article summarizing the report, healthcare facility administrators are aware of the statistics and are working to change the tide. For example, say Dr. David Gifford of the American Health Care Association, “…we’re trending in the right direction. I think you’re seeing a much greater linking of quality, and an emphasis on it.”
It should be noted that the “trend” may be more due to Obamacare and new healthcare regulations that punish healthcare facilities if they have too many patients discharged and readmitted in a certain period of time.
You have every right and expectation to demand excellence from the nursing home, rehab or hospital you or your family chooses. If you feel you have been the victim of abuse or neglect, or have suffered because of a doctor or nurse’s carelessness, we can help. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Lombardi & Lombardi are focused on protecting the rights of clients who have been injured by nursing home and hospital negligence. Contact the firm today for a free consultation about your concerns.