One State Proposes Legislation to Protect Long Term Care Residents from Neglect and Abuse

One state has plans to introduce legislation that is geared towards identify more nursing home abuse and neglect. Under the legislation, nursing homes would be required to notify coroners of every resident's death. Current law does not require nursing homes to report deaths to coroners, who are rarely called even when abuse or neglect is suspected. Autopsies often aren't performed, and evidence of poor treatment is lost.

The new law would require nursing home officials to report to the coroner all deaths occurring in long-term care facilities or deaths occurring shortly after a resident is discharged from such a facility. A current provision requires caregivers to report a death from any cause "other than natural." The nursing home however are using broad discretion on reporting a case of potential abuse or neglect. In the specific sate, failure to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $250 fine. 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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