Long Term Care Facilities May be Using Medicare Money but Failing to Meet the Standard of Care

A New York Times investigation suggests that long term care hospitals deserve far greater scrutiny by regulators and a change in the rules regarding the way they are paid. Such facilities are expected to bill the government over 4.8 billion dollars this year.

One state looked at it's 23 long term care hospitals, and found that the for-profit company owned long-term care facilities had the most serious issues. According to the New York Times, the for-profits generally spend less on their patients than nonprofit long-term care hospitals and enjoy higher margins. The cost-cutting can result in patient injuries.

In October at one such facility, state inspectors found a woman on a feeding tube receiving only 600 calories a day. In December at a similar facility, state inspectors found that the facility failed to have nurses regularly assess the condition of a patient on a ventilator and failed to provide any "consistent and accurate assessment" for another patient who's toes had turned "100 percent black" while under its care. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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